The Chief Electoral Commissioner Dr Christiana Thorpe yesterday announced the final provisional election results for the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The results show a 6 percentage point lead for the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party over the governing Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).
Despite chalking up a 44% win, the APC Presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma however stops short of gaining the constitutional requirement of 55% which would have been enough for him to clinch the Presidency.
Dr Thorpe announced that there would therefore “be a need for a Presidential run-off between the two highest ranking candidates.”
This means Ernest Koroma will now go into a run off with the second leading candidate Vice President Solomon Berewa of the ruling SLPP who polled 38 percent of the votes.
The opposition APC also won 59 seats which makes up 52 percent of the new 112 member parliament.
The ruling SLPP got 43 seats while the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) got 10 seats.
This means that no political party will command a two thirds majority in the next parliament.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner Christiana Thorpe however announced that in their final tally they had to recount for a few stations in10 of the 14 districts.
Consequently four ballot boxes were invalidated because the results “were suspicious and the Commission was not satisfied that the results are completely credible.”
In three of the four cases, in polling stations 1078, 1168 and 1084 all in the Kailahun district, “the polling centers recorded a higher number of votes cast than registered voters.”
In the fourth case involving polling center 8197 in the Tonkolili district, “the polling station recorded exactly 600 votes and it was apparent that one person had marked a significant number of ballots.”
These four ballot boxes were invalidated.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner maintained that this emphasizes their message that the Commission will observe “Zero tolerance for electoral fraud,” adding “the invalidation of those boxes in no way compromises the integrity of the elections, nor the credibility of its results.”
The final certified results will be announced Saturday.