Sierra Leone ruling party wins 60% of parliamentary seats in contested vote

By Umaru Fofana

FREETOWN (Reuters) – The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party has won 60% of the seats in a parliamentary election, the election commission said on Saturday, as the main opposition party demanded a rerun of the vote that also saw President Julius Maada Bio win a second term.

The SLPP won 81 seats while the opposition All People’s Congress won 54, according to the results read by the commission’s chairman Mohamed Kenewui Konneh.

The results showed the ruling party made significant gains in the bellwether diamond-rich district of Kono, winning seven of the 10 seats where they had none previously. They also made gains in the opposition heartland of the north and west, especially in the capital Freetown.

But the APC, which earlier said it had decided to reject the results of the June 24 general election, citing “glaring irregularities”, retained control of the important mayorship of Freetown with 51.3% of the vote.

The APC also said it would refuse to participate in any form of governance as a result of the alleged election irregularities.

(Editing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Louise Heavens)