(Rapaport…May 16, 2002) Sierra Leone’s citizens headed to the polls on May 14 to vote in presidential elections, and early returns show incumbent President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah to have a solid lead over his challengers. Kabbah’s main rival is Ernest Koroma, head of the opposition All Peoples Congress, which governed the country for 24 years. Also running is Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) candidate Pallo Bangura, who is standing in for imprisoned RUF leader Foday Sankoh.
If no candidate receives 55% of the vote, the country will hold a run-off election in two weeks, but an official with the National Election Commission said it appeared unlikely that Kabbah will fall short of that mark. Officials expect final results to be tallied by the end of the week.
The vote went off without major incident, and the Election Commission has not received any complaints of serious irregularities.