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Sierra Leone Heading for Possible Presidential Runoff Vote


A runoff appears likely in Sierra Leone's presidential election, despite the main opposition candidate maintaining his lead in last week's voting.

The country's electoral commission says Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People's Congress Party has won more than 40 percent of the vote. Vice President Solomon Berewa, the candidate of the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party, has earned over 30 percent of the balloting.

Charles Margai of the People's Movement for Democratic Change, is in third place.

The electoral commission says more than 60 percent of all ballots have been counted. If no candidate wins 55 percent of the vote, a run-off election will be held.

The APC has already claimed victory in parliamentary elections held alongside the presidential vote.

This is the second presidential election since the West African nation emerged from a bloody 11-year civil war that ended in 2002, and the first vote since United Nations peacekeepers withdrew two years ago.

President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah is prevented by law from seeking a third term.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.