Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio was announced Wednesday as the country’s new president.
The retired military officer and former coup leader who represented the People’s Party (SLPP) received 52 percent of the vote, and narrowly defeated Dr. Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) who garnered 48 percent.
Spokesman Kalilu Tutangi expressed gratitude to Sierra Leoneans for voting in Maada Bio and urged supporters to celebrate peacefully and avoid provocations.
In 1996, Maada Bio led a military coup that ousted his close friend and leader of the National Provisional Ruling Council NPRC junta government, Capt. Valentine Strasser.
He later justified his actions as a way to return the country to a democratically elected civilian government and end the civil war.
His government was accused of gross human rights violations, including looting state resources.
He later organised elections that same year and handed over power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
He entered politics in 2012 in a losing bid against outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma, who could not run again because of term limits.
The current ruling party, on Monday accused the international community, including British High commissioner to Sierra Leone Guy Warrington and former Ghanaian President John Mahama of siding with the opposition to deny it victory.
Celebrations have been reported in opposition stronghold cities of Bo in the South, Kenema in the East and the capital, Freetown.
Maada Bio will be sworn in late Wednesday. (Anadolu Agency)