President Julius Maada Bio won re-election in the West African nation of Sierra Leone on Tuesday, according to the country’s electoral commission, amid concerns over lack of transparency in the vote tallying and sporadic episodes of violence.

Mr. Bio took 56 percent of the vote, a surprise victory in the first round in which most observers had predicted that no candidate would pass the 55 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Samura Kamara, the leading opposition candidate, finished second with 41 percent of the vote.

The election, held on Saturday, was a rematch of the 2018 contest, in which Mr. Bio defeated Mr. Kamara, an economist and former government minister, by a tight margin.

Sierra Leone faces a crippling economic crisis, with record levels of inflation and unemployment and some of the highest levels of food insecurity in West Africa.

But Mr. Bio, 59, called on Sierra Leoneans to give him five more years to pursue an education initiative that has sent an additional one million children to school. But he has also been accused of overseeing violent repression of protests, including last summer when more than two dozen people died in demonstrations against rising prices.

Mr. Bio is a former military officer who took part in two coups during Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s. He briefly ruled the country in 1996 as the head of a military junta, but handed power to an elected president months later.

Voter turnout appeared to be high at around 77 percent, according to the electoral commission. Over 3.3 million voters had registered to vote in the nation of 8.4 million, most of them under age 35.

“Participation is usually very high because young people want change,” said Ishmael Beah, a Sierra Leonean writer who is critical of Mr. Bio’s government. “That is, until they realize that nothing is going to change.”

The voting on Saturday was mostly peaceful, but tensions rose on Sunday when security forces surrounded the headquarters of Mr. Kamara’s party, the All People’s Congress, as supporters were celebrating local results. (The vote on Saturday was also for local and parliamentary officials, as well as the president.)

The police fired tear gas and a woman was shot dead. Party officials have accused security forces of firing live rounds, which the head of the Sierra Leonean police has denied.

On Monday, both Mr. Kamara’s and Mr. Bio’s parties predicted a victory, raising fears of further tensions when the final results were released.

International election observers have also voiced concerns about the lack of transparency during the counting process. Observers were prevented from properly monitoring the tallying, according to the Carter Center, which had dozens of personnel on the ground.

But an independent coalition of national and international organizations, National Election Watch, said provisional results released on Monday matched the data they had collected.

Joseph Johnson contributed reporting from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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