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Sierra Leone court lifts order halting presidential election

Sierra Leone court lifts order halting presidential election

Sierra Leone

The High Court in Sierra Leone has lifted an interim injunction halting Sierra Leone’s runoff presidential election.

In the session held on Monday afternoon in Freetown, the court ordered that the interim injunction refraining the electoral commission from organising the election runoff is vacated.

‘‘The interim injunction that the 1st and 2nd defendants should be refrained from conducting the March 27 presidential elections is vacated.’‘

The interim injunction that the 1st and 2nd defendants should be refrained from conducting the March 27 presidential elections is vacated.

The court then went ahead to give orders to the electoral commission relating to how the runoff should be conducted to ensure transparency and adherence to the Public Elections Act 2012.

Police and security forces had cordoned off the court premises to prevent angry protesters from disrupting proceedings.

On Saturday, court granted one Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, a lawyer linked to the ruling All People’s Congress Party (APC) a temporary injunction, after he argued that electoral fraud allegations should be investigated before the vote goes ahead.

While the leading opposition party, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the country’s civil society organisations had roundly rejected the injunction, insisting that polls must be held as scheduled, the ruling party had argued that the court verdict should direct the people of Sierra Leone.

The APC’s candidate, Samura Kamara, finished slightly behind Julius Maada Bio of the opposition SLPP in the first round of voting on March 7, but neither candidate gained the 55 percent of votes needed to win outright.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced on Saturday that they had halted preparations for the election runoff pending the court verdict.

NEC is yet to respond to the court verdict, announcing whether the runoff will be held tomorrow as scheduled or at a latter date.

Eric Kawa, Africanews correspondent

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