Julius Maada Bio, the incumbent, has been declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s tense presidential election by the country’s election commission. The commission’s chief, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, announced on June 27 that Bio secured 56.17 percent of the vote on Saturday. His primary challenger, Samura Kamara of the All People’s Congress (APC), came in second with 41.16 percent.
More than 2.8 million votes were cast during the election, which saw the re-election of Julius Maada Bio as the president of Sierra Leone. The 59-year-old leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was sworn in at Freetown’s State House approximately one hour after the announcement of the results.
The vote tallying process had already sparked disputes from the APC, which issued a statement on June 26 criticizing the alleged lack of inclusiveness, transparency, and responsibility exhibited by the electoral commission. Prior to the election, the APC had raised concerns about the electoral commission. However, the commission maintained that it had implemented measures to ensure a fair voting process.
The presidential, parliamentary, and local council elections were held after a campaign marred by several instances of violence. This election marks the fifth since the official end of Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war in 2002, a conflict marked by its brutality, resulting in 50,000 deaths and numerous cases of amputations.
Sierra Leone has since established a tradition of mostly peaceful, free, and credible elections, as noted by Marcella Samba Sesay, the chairperson of the non-governmental organization National Elections Watch.