Sierra Leone: Opposition party 75% ahead

The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone on Sunday released 75 per cent of the result of the presidential election held in the country on Wednesday, showing the opposition candidate, Julius Maada Bio, is now ahead, with a narrow lead over the candidate of the ruling party, Samura Wilson Kamara.

Chairman of NEC, Mohammed Conteh, declared the “progressive” result at the commission’s headquarters in Freetown.

Mr. Conteh said that result representing 75 per cent of the polling stations in each of the 16 districts in the country had been cleared by NEC Tally Centre Information Technology Systems.

He said the detail result are partial and does not represent the complete outcome of the election.

According to him, Mr. Maada Bio, the candidate of the opposition, Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP), has taken the lead with 848,438 (43.33 per cent) votes, followed by the candidate of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), with 833,519 (representing 42.7 per cent).

Kamaraimba Mansaray, candidate of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), has secured 20,234 votes; Musa Tarawally of Citizens’ Democratic Party (CDP) 8,740 votes and Samuel Sam-Sumana of Coalition for Change (C4C), 67, 132 votes.

“Chernoh Bah of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), 6, 532 votes; Kolle Yemkulla of National Grand Coalition (NGC) 136,009 votes, John O’Dwyer of National Progressives Democrats (NPD) 3,307 votes.

“Patrick Sandy, National Unity and Reconciliation Party (NURP), 1,816 votes and Baba Conteh of Peace and Liberation Party (PLP), 3, 373; Francis Margai, Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC)7, 521 votes and Victor Williams of Republic National Independent Party (RNIP) 1,976 votes.

Jemba Ngobeh of Revolution United Front Party (RUFP) got 9,866 votes ; Mohamed Sowa-Turay, United Democratic Movement, 4,477; Henry Kabuta, United National Peoples Party (UNPP), 2, 369 votes.

Olufemi Claudius-Cole of Unity Party (UP), scored 2,891 votes.

Mr. Conteh assured that the full certified result would be announced as soon as possible, under the one-week timeframe stipulated by the country’s electoral law.

Mr. Conteh also said the commission has continued to tally result at its five regional centres.

He said while majority of the results had now been entered into presidential election result sheet, NEC had identified some forms that require examination before they could be accepted as a genuine results.

He added that the processes were built into the system to ensure integrity and accuracy of the final results.

“The Public Electoral Act 2012 allows NEC to take any necessary steps in examining these results. These can include the recount of these ballot papers in affected polling stations.

He disclosed that recount were underway now in relevant districts offices.

”NEC will take any necessary step to ensure accuracy of results and to safeguard votes legitimately cast by Sierra Leoneans on 7 March.

“NEC commissioners are also aware of allegations against our own staff and we take these allegations very seriously.

“In addition to the numerous safeguards that are already in place, we will continue to monitor the tally process at every stage.

Mr. Conteh said the commission believes that trust is paramount. It also understands the danger of speculations and that false allegations have the potential to damage public confidence in the electoral process

“We appeal to all citizens to respect the integrity of the electoral process, to refrain from speculations, to remain patient and uphold peaceful environment that has come to characterise Sierra Leone.”

He said the commission in carrying out its functions would continue to honour the choice of the electorate, which was the votes that they cast on election day.

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