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Sierra Leone runoff: Loser to challenge results in court

Sierra Leone runoff: Loser to challenge results in court

Sierra Leone

The losing candidate in Sierra Leone’s March 31 presidential runoff, Samura Kamara, has announced that he will mount a legal challenge against the declaration of Julius Maada Bio as president of the country.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Wednesday evening declared the former military head of state winner of the runoff vote with over 51% of valid votes cast. Kamara received a little above 48%.

But according to Kamara, there were instances of electoral violations that affected the outcome. He cited among others: “massive ballot-stuffing, over-voting, fraudulent voter registers and other electoral irregularities.”

We dispute the results and we will take legal action to correct them.

“We dispute the results and we will take legal action to correct them,” Kamara said in a televised address.

Kamara’s All People’s Congress (APC) had earlier on Wednesday written to the NEC demanding a recount of votes in the Southern Province – a known opposition stronghold.

In declaring the final results the NEC document said results had been collated and certified from all polling stations across the country, suggesting that there were no outstanding challenges to results anywhere.

Maada Bio has since been sworn into office hours after the declaration. As required by law, he was sworn in by Chief Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm whiles he swore in his vice president, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh in a Freetown hotel.

The electoral law offers a seven-day period for anyone with challenges to the results to file a case before the courts.

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