Sierra Leone's two main parties in March 27 presidential runoff: election commission

  A woman casts her ballot as part of the general elections at a polling station in Freetown. More than 3.1 million voters are registered for the polls across the small West African nation. (File, AFP)
A woman casts her ballot as part of the general elections at a polling station in Freetown. More than 3.1 million voters are registered for the polls across the small West African nation. (File, AFP)

Freetown - Sierra Leone will hold a run-off vote for president on March 27, the election commission said Tuesday, after the country's main opposition finished slightly ahead of the ruling party in the first round of voting.

Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took 43.3% of votes in the March 7 election, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7%, the commission said.

The threshold to win in the first round was 55%, and results were slightly delayed by recounts in some areas.

The two parties have dominated Sierra Leone's politics and ruled alternately since independence from Britain in 1961.

Third party candidate Kandeh Yumkella finished with just 6.9% of votes despite his National Grand Coalition (NGC) party's hopes of an electoral breakthrough.

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