By Ralph Sesay
The long awaited results for the March 7th polls has finally been announced last night at the National Electoral Commission headquarters in Freetown by the Chief Electoral Commissioner and the National Returning Officer Nfa-Alie Conteh and a team of Commissioners from the East ,South ,West and North.
According to the Chief Electoral Commissioner, a total of 2,537,122 of valid votes were cast in the entire polls, with a total of 139,427 votes recorded as invalid votes. NEC further stated that 154 polling’s stations were recounted and this forms part of the results for the 25% of polling stations.
‘’ The results from 221 polling stations were excluded, including where the votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters …’’ The NEC Chief further disclosed.
The results of these stations the commissioner went on are declared null and void pursuant to Section 87(2) of the Public Elections Act, 2012. ‘’The results of these stations are declared null and void… ‘’ and not included in the result.
The climax of the Press conference was the announcement of the Presidential results for the different political parties with Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP, scoring 1,097,482 votes accounting for 43.3 % of the total votes cast. Samura Kamara of the APC scored 1,082,748 votes accounting for 42.7 % of the total votes cast. Kandeh YumKella of the NGC and Former Vice President Chief Samuel Sam Sumana followed in third and fourth positions with 6.9 and 3.5% of the total votes cast respectively.
The National returning Officer concluded that in exercise of the powers conferred upon him as Chief Electoral Commissioner/Chairman and National Returning Officer of NEC, by sections 52(2) and 94 (4) of the Public Elections Act, 2012 and section 42(3) of the constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 he therefore declares a runoff for the two leading candidates to be conducted on the 27th March, 2018.