Incumbent Julius Maada Bio has been declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s presidential election but the opposition has disputed the count.

Official figures say that Mr Bio gained 56% of the vote. His main rival, Samura Kamara, trailed far behind with 41%.

After the first tranche of results were released on Monday, Dr Kamara called the outcome “daylight robbery”.

International election observers have highlighted problems with transparency in the tallying process.

Saturday’s vote took place amid tension but President Bio had called on Sierra Leoneans to “keep the peace”.

The 59-year-old is due to be sworn in for his second five-year term soon. The rivalry between him and Dr Kamara, 72, was a repeat of the closely fought 2018 election, which went to a second round.

This time Dr Kamara, who was the candidate for the All People’s Congress (APC), has alleged that his electoral agents were not allowed to verify the ballot counting.

In the run-up to the vote, the APC had made complaints about the electoral commission. However, the commission insisted that it had mechanisms in place to ensure a fair vote. 

The presidential, parliamentary and local council elections came at the end of a campaign marred by several violent incidents.

Last week, the APC alleged that one of its supporters was shot dead by police, which the police denied. 

The party has said that another one of its backers was killed when security forces tried to break up the crowd outside its headquarters in Freetown on Sunday.

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