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Opposition Party Claims Victory In Sierra Leone’s Presidential Election…

Sierra Leone’s opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) says its candidate, opposition leader Julius Maada Bio won the country’s presidential election runoff after taking 54.11 percent votes, according to its own tally of the results.

However, Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), who won 45.89 percent of the votes is demanding a vote audit from the  SLPP party before the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announces results of the March 31 presidential runoff.  The NEC is “expected” to release the results by Thursday.

According to the NEC, there was a brief delay in the vote counting following a controversy between parties on the tallying method where 11,000 polling stations were said to yet to be counted.

The APC party complained of fraud which led to a delay of the runoff for several days. Then a day before the elections were due to take place on March 27, a court injunction was lifted which forced the election commission to push the vote back.

According to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ), though the presence of security officers at some polling stations deterred voters from voting, they are satisfied with the election overall.

A total of 3.1 million people are said to have registered to vote in the poll.

Jacob Saffa, the SLPP’s election management chairman, told a news conference on Monday in the capital, Freetown, that they are “confident that Julius Maada Bio is the next president of Sierra Leone”.

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