Julius Maada Bio was first elected President in 2018 (Photo © AFP)

Sierra Leone’s President Bio Wind Re-Election

Sierra Leone’s electoral commission has declared incumbent Julius Maada Bio the winner of the presidential election after the main opposition disputed the count.

Chief Electoral Commissioner Mohamed Kenewui Konneh said Bio was re-elected with 56.17% of Saturday’s vote. His main rival Dr Samura Kamara, of the All People’s Congress (APC), came second with 41.16%.

“By the powers invested in me… I hereby certify that Bio Julius Maada… [is] duly elected president,” the chief commissioner announced.

The rivalry between him and Dr Kamara, 72, was a repeat of the closely fought 2018 election, which went to a second round.

This time, media reports say Kamara called the outcome “daylight robbery” after the provisional results were released on Monday.

International election observers have highlighted problems with transparency in the tallying process.

Saturday’s vote took place amid tension but President Bio had called on Sierra Leoneans to “keep the peace”.

The 59-year-old is due to be sworn in for his second and final five-year term soon.

Scenes of celebration have been reported in the capital, Freetown, with Bio’s supporters hoisting his banner and marching across the wet streets of the city.

The presidential, parliamentary and local council elections came at the end of a campaign marred by several violent incidents.

President Bio addressed the nation after the publication of provisional results on Monday evening and called on citizens to keep the peace.

“We each have a stake in maintaining peace during and after the announcement of results of these elections,” he said in a televised speech.

The election is the fifth since Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war officially ended in 2002.