It appears that — from provisional results at least — that Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma is leading in the count following the November 17 election.
The provisional results are just that, though, so there’s nothing official and there’s nothing indicating that Koroma has yet cleared the 55% for direct reelection (thereby avoiding a runoff). His chief opponent, Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), who actually served briefly as acting president in 1996 following a coup against Sierra Leone’s increasingly corrupt government, has certainly not conceded the race.
Koroma’s party, the All People’s Congress (APC) is doing much better, accordingly to those results, than it did in the prior 2007 election in the key diamond-rich province of Kono, control of which featured prominently in the decade-long civil war that ended in 2012. As predicted, the APC’s result is strong in the country’s north, home to the Temne ethnic group that has historically supported the APC; the SLPP, meanwhile, has done very well in the south, where the Mende ethnic group predominates.
Official results are required to be announced within 10 days of the vote. The European Union’s monitors issued a report yesterday that claimed the elections were well-conducted in a peaceful environment, despite the SLPP’s accusations of voter fraud.