Sierra Leone's election heads to run-off after opposition wins first round

Sierra Leone presidential poll set for Julius Maada Bio and Samura Kamara runoff

Sierra Leone to Hold Runoff Vote As Opposition Wins First Round

Sierra Leone's election to pick outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma's successor will head to a runoff later this month after neither of the two front-runners secured an outright majority in the first round, the electoral commission said on Tuesday.

The service was providedby blockchain firm Agora, reports Business Insider, and allowed each paper ballot to be logged using the specialised technology. And the system only tracked votes cast in the country's most populous district. "A country like Sierra Leone can ultimately minimize a lot of the fall-out of a highly contentious election by using software like this".

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Similar to how blockchain provides transparency in cryptocurrency transactions by storing data in a public record, Agora hopes to provide transparency in elections. This reduces the chances of any vote, which were validated on the blockchain network in real time, from being tampered with.

Leonardo Grammar, CEO of Agora, said Sierra Leone's NEC was "open-minded" about the potential of blockchain in its elections after talks began late a year ago.

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Given that none of the top two candidates got the 55% threshold stipulated by the law, a runoff within two weeks of the final declaration, as required by law, will take place March 27, announced the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

The victor of the run-off vote will replace outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma of APC, as the country's 5th President.

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Bio's party, the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and the APC have been the dominant parties in the country and have ruled consecutively since independence from Britain in 1961.

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