Election result: Sierra Leone opposition party heads to court

Mohammed Conteh, Head of the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission
Mohammed Conteh, Head of the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission

(Xinhua/NAN) Main challenger in the just concluded election, Samura Kamara of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the presidential run-off election result.

Kamara filed the petition together with the APC vice chairman, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray and the national Secretary General, Osman Foday Yansaneh.

They filed the petition on Thursday against the chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mohamed Conteh, NEC, and President Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

The APC alleged that they were deprived of victory in the election for the presidency of Sierra Leone.

They accused the first defendant, Conteh, that notwithstanding the irregularities, he went ahead and announced Julius Maada Bio as president.

They prayed that the court determines that the NEC chairperson acted illegally when he included results of polling stations where over voting took place.

They also prayed that the court directs all results of polling stations where over voting took place be excluded from the final tallying and final results declared by the NEC chairperson.

They further urged that the court directs that the declaration of Julius Maada Bio as duly elected president in the presidential held on March 31 was invalid and cannot be supported in law and any other or further orders that the court may deem fit and just.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has not set a date to hear the matter but has accepted the petition.

The 2018 election was hotly contested with 16 political parties participating in the first round on March 7.

Since none of the political parties secured the threshold of 55 per cent to clinch the presidency, a run-off was conducted on March 31 between Samura Kamara of the APC and Julius Maada Bio of SLPP.

In the presidential run-off election, Julius Maada Bio was declared winner with 51.81 per cent, while Samura Kamara secured 48.19 per cent.

Immediately after he was declared winner he was sworn in.

He would be inaugurated on May 12 at the Siaka Steven Stadium in Freetown.

NAN

Hassan Usman Author

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