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The First Set of Results in Sierra Leone’s Presidential Election are In

The votes from 60% of the polling stations tallied – show that the incumbent Julius Maada Bio is in the lead. The electoral commission says that he has 56% of the vote. His closest rival Samura Kamara, of the All People’s Congress (APC), is on 42%. In order to win in the first round, a candidate needs more than 55% of the vote. The APC had previously made complaints about the conduct of the election and the electoral commission. On Sunday, Mr Kamara said live ammunition was fired into his party’s headquarters as he held a news conference. A woman there was reportedly wounded and there are fears for her life. Saturday’s vote took place in a tense atmosphere at the culmination of a campaign marred by several violent incidents. Saturday’s vote saw a high turnout, with voters telling the BBC the process was smooth despite polling stations opening hours late in many areas. The election is taking place against the background of a troubled economy, the rising cost of living, and concerns about national unity.