Update on Elections in Sierra Leone
The run off elections are complete; at 10:05 PM the National Election Commission read the results as follows:
Julius Maada Bio of the Oppostion Sierra Leone Peoples Party, is the new President with 51.81% of the votes; his opponent, Dr Samura Kamara of the ruling All Peoples Congress had 48.19% of the votes cast.
There were 2,578,271 votes cast or 81% of the eligible registered voting population. There were 31,694 invalid votes cast (1.24%).
The new President was sworn in within two hours of the official announcement by the National Election Commission; he was sworn by the Chief Justice in at the Raddison Blu Hotel breaking with some tradition.
The losing candidate, Dr Samura Kamara has stated that he intends to contest the election due to massive irregularities. He is allowed to do so provided he files his case within 7 days of the announcement on the 4th of April.
As in most elections there were a few irregularities noted, some violations. NEC used a fairly fail safe system using ballot papers and materials printed in South Africa with watermarks and various codes embedded in the documents (not visible to the naked eye) which when entered into their instruments technology would not be recognized as valid or genuine. In addition, both political parties had their agents in virtually every polling and voting station as well as at the tally centers.
Pray with us now for the restoration of good democratic processes within the country, for fiscal responsibility and a unified approach to governance.
General Secretary, Council of Churches in Sierra Leone