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Sierra Leone: 2.6m to vote for president, parliamentarians & local councillors


FREETOWN, (Xinhua): Sierra Leone's general election started smoothly on Saturday morning. Over 2.6 million registered voters out of about 6 million population are expected to vote in 9493 polling stations all around the Western African country at 0700 GMT for the president, parliamentarians and local councilors.

Many people rose early to join the long queue waiting for vote at the polling station where local observers and securities are around.

One local observer Mr. Gonna Catta told Xinhua that "everything is going smoothly" and voters have high expectations for their vote which may change the current situation.

A decade after Sierra Leone's brutal civil war, voters select the leader for the third time and it is also the first elections organized by Sierra Leone itself, while the previous two elections were organized by the UN.

It was reported at least 1,500 soldiers have been deployed to assist police in maintaining order during the election.

Voters will also elect 112 members of parliament and 456 local councilors. 12 local Paramount Chiefs will also be elected indirectly.

Eight parties are competing for the presidency and 10 will take part in parliamentary polls. The race will be narrowed down to the two major parties, the ruling All People's Congress (APC), and the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

Editor: Hou Qiang

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