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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:09 Feb 2018

On March 7, the people of Sierra Leone will go to the polls to elect a President, Members of Parliament and other local government executives. Incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma is ineligible to contest as he prepares to complete his second term in office.
This is the West African country’s fifth elections since the end of the civil war in 2002, and the second post-war elections to be held without UN supervision. The election is also expected to lead to the second transfer of power between two civilians in the country’s post-war era.
The Presidentail race is tipped between former foreign minister and flagbearer of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Samura Kamara, and the leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, a former military leader who lost to President Koroma in the 2012 contest. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella of the Grand National Coalition (GNC) is the dark horse in the presidential race.
According to the UNDP, more than 60% of the over 6 million people in Sierra Leone live on less than US$1.25 a day, amid high unemployment and illiteracy levels, and a life expectancy rate of 48.5 years.
Here are some important facts about the upcoming polls:
1. Sierra Leone is a unitary state. General elections are held every five years.
2. 16 candidates from sixteen different political parties have been (provisionally) cleared by the National Electoral Commission to contest the Presidential polls. Six women - two Presidential aspirants and four running mates are in the Presidential race.
3. General elections will be held on March 7, 2018 to elect a President, Members of Parliament and other local government executives.
4. 3,128,967 of the country’s 6.1 million people (as at 2017) are registered to vote in the elections.
5. There are 124 Parliamentary seats; 112 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 12 seats filled in separate elections by non-partisan members of Parliament called "paramount chiefs;" members are elected to 5-year terms.
6. Political parties must nominate presidential candidates.
7. The President is elected using a two-round system (runoff voting). 
8. A candidate for President needs to get least 55% of all valid votes cast for a first round victory. 
9. If none of the Presidential candidates achieves 55% of valid votes in the 1st round, a second round is held between the two candidates with the highest votes within 14 days after the announcement of the results. In the second round, the candidate with the majority of votes is elected.
10. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is responsible for conducting and supervising the elections.
11. Every citizen of Sierra Leone who is at least 18 years old or would attain that age on the day of election and has been registered as a voter may vote.
12. In 2012, voter turnout was 87.3% in the Presidential elections and 79.25% in the Parliamentary elections.
13. The validity of the election of a President may be contested at the country’s Supreme Court.
14. Voters were registered using biometric voter registration machines
15. Voting starts from 7.00am and ends at 5.00pm 

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