Sierra Leone decides

By Lawrence Audu

Sierra Leone’s opposition supporters are gathering in front of the High Court building in Freetown, protesting an alleged plan by the incumbent All People’s Congress Party APC to seek a court injunction against the announcement of the presidential election results by the Electoral Commission.

The opposition party says its candidate won the country’s presidential election runoff, according to its own tally of the results.

Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) said opposition leader Julius Maada Bio took 54.11 percent of the votes, while Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) won 45.89 percent.

Earlier a government spokesman was quoted accusing the British government of spearheading an international conspiracy to effect regime change by rigging the poll.

Deputy Information Minister, Cornelius Deveaux,  told state broadcaster SLBC radio that the British High Commissioner in Freetown was leading the alleged plot which was been implemented by the former Ghanaian President John Mahama, who is head of the Commonwealth Elections Observation Mission in the country.

ECOWAS, the regional bloc, said that overall it was satisfied with the election, but added the presence of security forces at some of the polling stations had intimidated voters and polling officials.

“We are confident that retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is the next president of Sierra Leone,” Jacob Saffa, the SLPP’s election management chairman, told a news conference in the capital, Freetown, on Monday.

Meanwhile, the country’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) said it “expected” to release the result by Thursday.