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Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital Freetown November 17, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Joe Penney
Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:12pm EST
FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's president, Ernest Bai Koroma, has won re-election with 58.7 percent of the vote, ahead of his top rival Julius Maada Bio on 37.4 percent, the West African state's electoral body announced on Friday.
Koroma has overseen an investment boom that could turn the country, still scarred by a civil war that ended a decade ago, into one of the world's fastest growing economies this year.
"Ernest Bai Koroma has been duly elected president of the republic of Sierra Leone," election commissioner Christiania Thorpe announced at a news conference to announce the results of the November 17 election.
"The commission has followed international standards and ensured a due process where every vote counts and every vote has been counted. Your voice has been heard."
Groups of youths shouted and cheered under the cotton tree in the center of the ramshackle capital Freetown, a landmark where slaves were once bought and sold.
"I'm pleased, very happy (...) He brings joy in Sierra Leone. Ernest brings joy in the heart of the people," said Abdul Deen, 41, who runs a household decoration business.
(Reporting by Simon Akam; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Alison Williams)
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