Sierra Leone seeks to postpone runoff vote until Saturday

2018-03-27 11:30

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

Sierra Leone's election commission applied to delay Tuesday's runoff presidential vote until the weekend after a court on Monday lifted an interim injunction that had stalled preparations.

The commission applied to the Constitutional Supreme Court for more time shortly after the decision by the West African nation's high court. The injunction had been granted on Saturday after a member of the ruling All Peoples Congress party filed a petition citing irregularities in the first round on March 7. The opposition called that move a delay tactic.

The National Election Commission asked that the second round be held on Saturday, according to spokesperson Albert Massaquoi.

Tensions have risen in the nation of 7 million people after neither the ruling party candidate nor the leading opposition candidate won the first round outright. The opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, which took 43.3% to the ruling party's 42.7% in the first round, has not held the presidency since 2007.

Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio, a former military leader, on Sunday said his party would not accept a delay in the vote. He also accused President Ernest Bai Koroma and the ruling party of "pushing us to the point of chaos in the country." Koroma has served two terms and is barred by the constitution from running again.

Bio, who is making his second bid for the presidency after losing in 2012, stands to pick up votes from the 14 candidates eliminated in the first round.

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. 

The winner of the runoff will be tasked with helping the country continue to rebuild after the devastating 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic as well as a deadly mudslide in August that claimed some 1 000 lives in the capital, Freetown.

The election is the fourth since Sierra Leone's brutal civil war ended in 2002, and the previous vote in 2012 was largely peaceful.

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.