Sierra Leone: Bio wins second term as Samura Kamara rejects results

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio has been re-elected to a second term with 56.17% of the vote, the head of the electoral commission said on Tuesday, prompting the runner-up to “unequivocally reject” the results.

Bio’s main challenger, Samura Kamara, who came in second with 41.16% of the vote according to the final results published in Freetown, called the results “unreliable”. “I categorically reject the results announced by the election commission,” he wrote on Twitter.

The counting of votes had previously been challenged by Kamara’s National People’s Congress (APC), which in a statement Monday condemned the election commission’s alleged lack of comprehensiveness, transparency and accountability.

party pointed to a lack of information about the polling station or the county from which the ballots originated. He said he “will not accept these false and fabricated results”.

In a later statement, the party accused “over-voting” in several areas and said it “continues to refute” “fabricated results” and “reaffirms our victory”.

But Bio advocates have praised the results.

Susan Myers, 34, said: “I’m glad Bio won, we want him to regulate the economy and create jobs. Musa Tholluy, 27, said she was happy that her “president had just been re-elected. He is doing great things for this country. He fights corruption.”

At a news conference on Monday, European Union observers said the lack of transparency and communication from the electoral body had led to mistrust in the election process.

Observers said they witnessed violence at  seven polling stations during voting hours and three more during the closing and counting periods.

– ‘I need justice‘ –

They also said they had received reports of incidents of violence in six areas, including the use of live ammunition in three counties. About 3.5 million voters were registered to vote in the Saturday’s election.
Bio, 59, a former coup leader in the 1990s, advocated for education and women’s rights during her first civilian term.

Kamara, 72, a former foreign and finance minister, attacked the election commission during the election campaign for alleged irregularities and delays.

Sierra Leoneers also vote in the parliamentary and municipal elections on Saturday.

EU monitors denounced violent behavior by security forces at APC headquarters in Freetown on Sunday night, in what police said was an attempt to disperse opposition supporters, prompting a women died.

Sidie Yahya Tunis, an APC spokeswoman, told AFP the woman was on the ground floor of the building.

“She’s downstairs in the medical room – she’s a nurse – we have a little health clinic in our office, that’s where she works,” he said.

Ibrahim Conteh, a 25-year-old law student who is the woman son, told AFP he had identified his mother’s body at the morgue.

“we want justice… I just want to know” who killed my mother, he said through tears.

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