Sierra Leone Presidential polls: Buhari congratulates Bio on his victory

Mohammed Conteh Head of the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission

The losing candidate in Sierra Leone's presidential election, Samura Kamara, said the voting was marred by fraud and he plans to launch a legal challenge to the result.

Former military leader Julius Maada Bio has been declared victor and subsequently sworn in as president of Sierra Leone after a tight run-off vote, NAN is reporting.

Bio is to take office as Sierra Leone's fifth President having won the run-off election with more than 92,000 vote margin against his APC counterpart.

This is the dawn of a new era.

So far, the Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Abdulai Hamid Charm is all set to swear-in the new President-elect, His Excellency President Brig.

The Chairman of NEC, Mohamed Conteh, who announced the result, said that the national turnout in the election was 2,578,271 representing 81.11 registered voters, while 31,694 invalid votes were recorded.

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An elections monitoring group, Sierra Leone Decides reported the development citing a letter signed by APC National General Secretary, Osman Foday Yansaneh, and addressed to the NEC Commissioner in the Southern Province.

As former President Ernest Bai Koroma's second term approached its end, his supporters launched a campaign to void term limits and allow him to seek re-election, before backing off under domestic and global pressure.

For him if there was "anyone sent to rig an election it would not be and should not be a former President of Ghana".

On the streets of Freetown, Bio supporters celebrated his victory and what they say he means for the country.

Election observers in the just-ended Sierra Leonean elections are demanding an apology from the losing party for accusing former President John Mahama of spearheading an global conspiracy to effect a regime change.

The largely peaceful election process has come as a relief for the country of 7 million people, who endured a civil war in the 1990s and whose economy was dragged down by an Ebola epidemic in 2014-15 and a global slump in commodity prices in 2015.

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