Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sierra Leone elections

As predicted, the count was nowhere near complete as scheduled on Friday. Fewer than two thirds of the polling stations had reported to the National Electoral Commissionby close of play on Friday.

Ernest Koroma's lead had narrowed in the last 24 hours, and though he is still likely to be ahead on the final count, Charles Margai's votes are more crucial than ever, and there is speculation as to whether, in a run-off, most would turn to the governing SLPP for reasons of Mende ethnic affinity. Margai's PMDC has done better than many people thought possible, as a party only two years old, and if it can preserve its separate identity, Sierra Leone may develop a stable three-party system.

One person who has emerged with great credit from the elections is the chair of the National Electoral Commission, Dr Christiana Thorpe. She is said to have done an excellent job by all the parties.

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