Sierra Leone’s newly elected leader, Julius Maada Bio was sworn in as president late on Wednesday, just hours after the elections commission announced his victory in a tight run-off poll.
Maada Bio, the opposition candidate and former military junta leader, succeeded Ernest Bai Koroma who had been in office since September 2007.
According to the 1991 constitution of the country, immediately after the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announces the winner of the election, the president-elect should take the oath of office.
Maada Bio now faces the difficult task of rebuilding the impoverished West African nation’s economy that was dragged down by the world’s deadliest Ebola epidemic and a global slump in commodity prices.
Representing the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Maada Bio won 51.81 percent of votes cast in the March 31 poll, according to results announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Wednesday.
He defeated former foreign affairs minister and ruling All People’s Congress (APC) candidate Samura Kamara, who had held a slight lead based on partial results earlier in the day but in the end garnered 48.19 percent.