The National Electoral Commission chairperson in Sierra Leone has urged citizens to patiently await official results that will take several days to tally.
Mohamed Conteh was giving the first brief to journalists and the country since polls closed at 5pm GMT.
‘‘Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission,” Conteh said.
Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission.
#NEC Chair Mohamed Conteh: “Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission.”— National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (@NECsalone) March 7, 2018
Conteh urged Sierra Leoneans to preserve unity and peace regardless of the choices they made at the ballot.
He also indicated that the commission expects results to be received at the regional tally centers by midnight.
#NEC Chair Mohamed Conteh: “All polling stations across the country closed by 5.30pm. Counting is underway and we expect the tamper-evident envelopes to arrive at regional tally centres by midnight.” #votesalone pic.twitter.com/oqymeZ5k9R— National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (@NECsalone) March 7, 2018
On social media, several tweeters have been posting updates of counting at different polling stations.
Vote counting has started in Sierra Leone ??. It is a quiet evening in Freetown as vehicles movement are restricted today. #votesalone #SierraLeoneDecides #SaloneDecides2018 pic.twitter.com/tLXCWBCaAT— Farida Nabourema (@Farida_N) March 7, 2018
Earlier, there were worrying developments when police raided the offices of the main opposition candidate saying they had been tipped off by a telecommunications commissioner of a possible election hack.
Julius Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) described the raid as intimidation against verification of results by his party’s independent tally center.
The 2018 general election drew lots of young voters in Sierra Leone. Through voter education, most of them were aware of all the regulations put in place during voting.
‘‘I see positive changes from the government that is coming. These changes should be from the agricultural and educational sector.’‘
‘‘In this election, they made it easy for us because they did sensitization and it was easy. We did not find it difficult to vote. They showed us how to vote and indicate the candidate you want to vote for.’‘
Photo Credit: National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone