Sierra Leone election body alleges police intimidation

2018-03-22 20:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Freetown - Sierra Leone's election commission has alleged police are disrupting its activities ahead of a March 27 presidential run-off as a top polling official was summoned for questioning.

Tensions are high ahead of the vote in a campaign marked by violent attacks and intimidation against politicians and supporters, along with an uptick in inflammatory tribal rhetoric.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said in a statement late on Wednesday the police had "unwarrantedly entered NEC premises, unannounced and at random, interrogated NEC staff; and obstructed them from performing their duties."

Their actions "served to intimidate some staff", it added.

The police have meanwhile demanded the NEC's Executive Secretary face questioning based on an "allegation of electoral offences", according to a summons issued on Wednesday and seen by AFP.

The move is likely to inflame opposition accusations that the police are in the pocket of the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC), whose candidate came second in the first round of voting on March 7.

The home of opposition leader Julius Maada Bio was surrounded after polls closed that day, leading to a stand-off, though he was not arrested and police dispersed hours later.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Bio, from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took 43.3% of votes, while Samura Kamara of the APC took 42.7%, propelling them into the run-off.

The APC and SLPP alike have complained that fraud marred the vote, which was declared fair and credible by international and domestic observers.

The APC took 63 seats against the SLPP's 46 in parliament, according to results of 125 seats announced so far. Seven have yet to be declared.

Read more on:    sierra leone  |  west africa  |  sierra leone 2018 elections

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.