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.
Reports has it 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 news men 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. At the cathedral Central District voting station, the NEC official had already set up.
Also at the Open Field Grass Field Polling Station and the First Baptist Mission Primary School, Accessories Read, Easter Region, the NEC officials could be seen on ground wile voters were already on queue.
The NEC Poll Manager at Open Field Grass, Mr Abdul Tholley, who spoke with NAN said their was no problem regarding the election materials both sensitive and non sensitive received.
Also at Annie Wash Primary School, East region, the voters were already waiting in queue as early as 5 .30 a.m local time.
There was enforcement of vehicular movement restriction as police officers were on strategic road junctions to enforce the restriction order.
There was also presence of police officers at all the polling units visited. Voting is expected to commence by 7 a.m. close by 5 p.m. The country has an estimated seven million population and 3.17 million registered voters, who will cast their ballots in 11,122 polling stations nationwide.
Sierra Leone 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.