Monday, August 20, 2007
As some of you may know Sierra Leone is waiting for the results of an election which took place on the 12th of August. Ballots are still being counted and the results will likely be in this week. The ruling party (Sierra Leone Peoples Party SLPP) under former vice president Solomon Berewa is currently standing in second place with around 35% of the vote. The frontrunners are former opposition party All Peoples Congress (APC) headed by Ernst Bai Koroma with 45%. In third is the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), a split off from SLPP lead by Charles Margai: nephew and son to Sierra Leone's first and second presidents after independence in '61. With no party taking 55% of the vote there will likely be run-off elections between APC and SLPP. Charles Margai of PMDC is now backing the APC. Those I have talked to in the country are still concerned about the possibilities of violence, particularly in Freetown. But thus far voting and rallies have all occurred peacefully. In spite of accusations on the part of the leading parties, UN observers have stated that the elections were free and fair. Hopefully this will continue as the next round of voting will likely take place in September.