Sierra Leone set for presidential runoff: election commission

WEB_PHOTO_SIERRA_LEONE_ELECTION_2_11032018

A military member shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote during Sierra Leone's general election in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 7, 2018.

A military member shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote during Sierra Leone's general election in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 7, 2018.

WEB_PHOTO_SIERRA_LEONE_ELECTION_2_11032018

A military member shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote during Sierra Leone's general election in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 7, 2018.

A military member shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote during Sierra Leone's general election in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 7, 2018.

FREETOWN - Sierra Leone will hold a run-off vote for president on March 27, the election commission said Tuesday, after the country&39;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&39;s Party (SLPP), took 43.3 percent of votes in the March 7 election, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 percent, the commission said.

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

The two parties have dominated Sierra Leone&39;s politics and ruled alternately since independence from Britain in 1961.

Third party candidate Kandeh Yumkella finished with just 6.9 percent of votes despite his National Grand Coalition (NGC) party&39;s hopes of an electoral breakthrough.