Retired Julius Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and Dr Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) will go for presidential run-off vote in two weeks’ time having emerged front runners in the fiercely contested March 7 elections.

According the final results of the presidential, parliamentary and local council polls released by Mohamed N’fah-Alie Conteh Chair of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in Freetown Tuesday, Bio received 43.3% or 1.097 million of the votes, followed by Kamara 42.7% or 1.082 mllion votes.

Dr Kandeh Yumkellah of the National Grand Alliance (NGC) is third with 6.9% or 174,014 votes.

NEC Chair quoting the constitution said a second round will take place March 27 since none of the candidates obtained 55% of the votes in the first round.

Some 3.17 voters were registered in the country with an estimated seven million population. Votes cast were 2.6 million and valid votes 2.5 million.

Following the announcement on Sunday of 75% of the processed votes, NEC at

the instance of some political parties carried out vote recounts at 154 polling stations, while ballots of 221 polling stations were annulled because of irregularities

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

This is the first time that Sierra Leone authorities would take charge of the electoral process since end of the country’s 11-year civil war in 2002, and the withdrawal of the UN Mission in 2014.