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Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma Reelected

Sierra Leone's incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma won a second five-year term in office by securing an outright victory in the presidential polls held nearly a week ago, the country's election commission announced Friday.

According to the commission, Koroma secured 58.7 percent of the votes polled in the elections held last Saturday, implying that he received more than the 55 percent of the votes required to avoid a run-off with his closet rival.

Incidentally, his closest rival in the presidential race was former junta leader Julius Maada Bio, who received 37.4 percent of the votes polled in Saturday's election, which according to local and international observers were largely free, fair, and well managed.

The November 17 elections were widely seen as an important step for a country that is rebuilding after the 1991-2002 civil war in which more than 50,000 people were killed.

Also, Saturday's polls were the West African nation's third since the end of the civil war, and the second since the withdrawal of the peacekeeping operation known as UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in December 2005.

by RTT Staff Writer

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