Julius Maada Bio was first elected in 2018

Incumbent Julius Maada Bio has been declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s presidential election but the opposition is disputing the result.

Official figures say that Mr Bio gained 56% of the vote. His main rival, Samura Kamara trailed far behind.

After the first tranche of results were released on Monday, Dr Kamara called the outcome “daylight robbery”.

Saturday’s vote took place amid tension but President Bio has called on Sierra Leoneans to “keep the peace”.

Dr Kamara, who was the candidate for the All People’s Congress (APC), has alleged that his electoral agents were not allowed to verify the ballot counting.

European Union and Commonwealth observers have highlighted problems with transparency in the tallying process.

In the run-up to the vote, the APC had made complaints about the electoral commission. However, the commission insisted that it had mechanisms in place to ensure a fair vote.

The presidential, parliamentary and local council elections came at the end of a campaign marred by several violent incidents.

Last week, the APC alleged that one of its supporters was shot dead by police, which the police denied.

The party has said that another one of its backers was killed when security forces tried to break up the crowd outside its headquarters in Freetown on Sunday.

Members of Mr Bio’s party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), have said they were attacked by opponents during campaigning.

This was Sierra Leone’s fifth election since the civil war ended in 2002.

The 11-year conflict cost an estimated 50,000 lives, but since then the country has a tradition of largely peaceful, free and credible elections, according to Marcella Samba Sesay, chairperson of the NGO National Elections Watch.

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