A High Court in Sierra Leone has placed an injunction on coming Tuesday’s presidential runoff. Voters were expected to choose between two candidates after the March 7 vote failed to produce an outright winner.
According to March 24 ruling delivered by Justice A. R. Mansaray, the Head of the National Electoral Commission and the body are to withhold the conduct of the runoff pending hearing into a case.
A local journalist, Abdul Tejan Cole said chief among the issues to be heard is an audit of the electoral system. The case is to be heard on Monday (March 27) barely 24-hours to the planned opening of polls.
High Court grants injunction restraining— Abdul Tejan-Cole (atejancole) March 24, 2018
NECsalonefrom proceeding with run off elections on Tuesday 27th March pending hearing and determination of application before the court for inter alia audit of the electoral system. #votesalone #SierraLeone #SierraLeonedecides pic.twitter.com/Z0j03jS7cE
The case that led to the injunction was filed by one Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, a lawyer linked to the ruling party All People’s Congress (APC). Lawyer Koroma in his filing averred that electoral fraud allegations should be investigated before the vote goes ahead.
The APC’s candidate, Samura Kamara, finished slightly behind Julius Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the first round of voting on March 7, but neither candidate gained the 55 percent of votes needed to win outright.