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Sierra Leone: Ex-coup leader wins first round poll

 

A former military coup leader has won the first round of Sierra Leone’s presidential election.

 

Julius Maada Bio secured 43.3% of the vote, short of the 55% he needed to avoid a second round run-off.

 

He will now face the ruling party candidate, Samura Kamara, who was behind by just 0.6%, in two weeks.

 

Should Mr. Bio win that contest, it will be the second time he has led Sierra Leone, having briefly headed a military junta in 1996.

 

He came to power after ousting Valentine Strasser – the soldier he had helped become Africa’s youngest leader in another coup just four years earlier.

 

Three months later, Mr. Bio stood down in favour of the democratically elected Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

 

During his shortlived military junta, Brig Bio chose his now rival Mr. Kamara as his finance minister.

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