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Sierra Leone Presidential Runoff Set for September 8


Officials in Sierra Leone have set September 8 for the runoff between the top two vote getters in August's presidential election in the West African nation.

The National Electoral Commission announced the runoff date Saturday after officials indicated no candidate won the required 55 percent.

The commission says Vice President Solomon Berewa of the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party will face Ernest Koroma of the opposition All People's Congress Party (APC) in the second round of balloting.

The vice president faces an uphill battle after third-place candidate, Charles Margai, said he would support Koroma in a runoff.

Koroma garnered 44 percent support against Mr. Berewa's 38 percent in the first round.

Koroma's party won a majority in parliament.

The APC took 59 of the assembly's 112 seats. The ruling Sierra Leone People's Party, which dominated the last parliament, won only 43 seats.

Outgoing President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah is constitutionally barred from running for a third term.

The election was the second since Sierra Leone emerged from a brutal 11-year civil war that ended in 2002. It is the first vote since United Nations peacekeepers withdrew two years ago.

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