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Sierra Leone holds general election
Last Updated: 2018-03-08 08:20 | Xinhua
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SIERRA LEONE-FREETOWN-POLITICS-GENERAL ELECTION

Voters wait in line outside a polling station in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on March 7, 2018. More than 3.1 million registered voters in Sierra Leone on Wednesday are to hit the polling stations across the country to elect a new president. (Xinhua/Kerifallah Janneh)

More than 3.1 million registered voters in Sierra Leone on Wednesday are to hit the polling stations across the country to elect a new president.

The general election started at 7 am Wednesday. Sixteen registered political parties including the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) participated in the election.

This is the fourth election the country has conducted since the eleven-year rebel war that ravaged the country.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has concluded his second consecutive term and his former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Samura Kamara would contest against fifteen others including Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP.

The election would close at 5 pm local time and counting would start after the polls with the official results expected in one week.

Apart from electing a new president, voters would also cast their ballots and elect 132 Members of Parliament and 19 councils across the country.

Chief of the European Union Observer Mission in Sierra Leone, Jean Lambert, on Wednesday described the voting as peaceful.

She commended voters for coming out to exercise their voting right and elect the candidate of their choice. She called on the National Electoral Commission to ensure that they handle all isolated incidences and ensure every body cast his or her vote.

According to the EU chief of mission, they have 100 observers deployed right across the country to monitor the election. She said they would release preliminary findings on Friday on the entire process.

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