Samura Wilson Kamara, the defeated Sierra Leone’s presidential candidate is heading for the court, hours after the winner, Julius Maada Bio was sworn into office.
According to reports from Freetown, Kamara is alleging “massive ballot-stuffing, over-voting, fraudulent voter registers and other electoral irregularities”.
Kamara, who was a former foreign affairs minister, narrowly lost the run-off poll 48.19 percent to 51.81 percent polled by Maada Bio.
Now, he wants the court to overturn the result and declare him as the winner. He has seven days to file his case, according to the country’s constitution.
Maada Bio was the torch bearer of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, SLPP, while Kamara was the candidate of the ruling All Peoples Congress in the election that went into a run-off.
According to the result announced by Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission, NEC, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Freetown, Bio received 1,319,406 votes representing 51.81 percent of the 2,546,577 valid votes cast, to defeat the candidate of the ruling party.
Kamara polled 1,227,171 votes, representing 48.19 percent of the valid votes cast.
Mohamed Conteh, the Chairman of NEC, who announced the result, said that the national turnout in the election was 2,578,271 representing 81.11 registered voters, while 31,694 invalid votes were recorded.
“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on me as National Returning Officer by sections 52(2) and 94(4) of the Public Elections Act, 2012 (Act No 4 of 20l2), I hereby certify that Bio Julius Manda having polled 1,319,406 of the valid votes cast in the March 31 Presidential election run-off has been duly elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
“Any citizen of Sierra Leone who has lawfully voted in this election may challenge the validity of the said election of the President by petition to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, within seven days after the declaration of Presidential result pursuant to section 55(1) of the Public Elections Act, 2012 (Act No. 4 of 2012),” Conteh said.