Election: Sierra Leone decides

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Voters in Sierra Leone turned out in their numbers on Wednesday to elect a new president as incumbent Ernest Koroma bows out.

A total of 16 candidates – including two women – are vying for the presidency.

Several news agencies report that there were long queues of registered voters at various poling units visited as early as 5 a.m local time, waiting to cast their vote at the official opening of polls by 7 a.m local time.

Some of the voters who spoke to newsmen said they left their houses early to enable them cast their vote as early as possible and leave.

The Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission (NEC) officers and election materials could be seen at various poling units visited in the City centre.

The NEC Poll Manager at Open Field Grass, Mr Abdul Tholley, who spoke with newsmen said there was no problem regarding the election so far.

There was enforcement of vehicular movement restriction as police officers were seen at strategic road junctions to enforce the restriction order.

Voting is expected to close by 5 p.m.

Sierra Leone has an estimated seven million population and 3.17 million registered voters, who will cast their ballots in 11,122 polling stations nationwide.

The elections are being contested by 16 presidential candidates, including two women, and more than 700 contenders for the 144-seat unicameral parliament. One hundred and thirty-two of the lawmakers will be elected directly, complemented by 12 slots for Paramount Chief Members of Parliament.

Titi