Julius Bio, the president and candidate for the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), and Samura Kamara, the nominee for the All Peoples Congress (APC), are seen as the front-runners in the election.
The National Democratic Alliance’s Bah Mohamed Chernoh, the People’s Democratic Party’s Coker Prince, the Citizens Democratic Party’s Jonjo Mohamed, the United National Peoples Party’s Kabuta Henry, and the Alliance Democratic Party’s Kakay Iye are the other parties running for president.
The Peace and Liberation Party’s Kamara Musa, the People’s Movement for Democratic Change’s Margai Francis, the Revolutionary United Front Party’s Saccoh Dougakoro, the National Unity and Reconciliation Party’s Sandy Patrick, the United Democratic Movement’s Sowa-Turay Mohamed, and the Republic National Independent Party’s Williams Victor are also on the ballot.
In the fifth election since the conclusion of the nation’s civil war, which took place 21 years ago, voters in Sierra Leone will also choose representatives to the parliament and local councilors in addition to the president.
The election has been generally calm across the nation, despite the pre-election angst and harsh rhetoric.
Reporters saw that voters came out in peace in Freetown, the nation’s main city, to cast their ballots for their preferred candidates. Only a few locations where voting was slowed down, like the SOS Children’s Village in Lumley, had election authorities arrive in time to save the day before noon.
As of press time Saturday night, voting had already finished in several areas of Sierra Leone’s Western District while the results were still being counted. Three persons were denied the right to vote at Salam Secondary School in Kossoh Town Western Rural at voting place 15124.
The identity cards (ID) given by the voters were deemed invalid by ECSL staff members at the center because the data in their voter’s register did not correspond with the ID Cards of the three voters.
Three persons were discovered attempting to vote twice at Constituency 105, Polling Center 15003, Ward 372. The three guys were turned over to the security forces for additional examination since the ECSL voter’s register at the center indicated that they had voted or that someone else may have voted on their behalf previously.
There were alleged instances of suspected ballot stuffing in Waterloo, Western Rural District, polling location 15005, Ward 373, Constituency 105, which led to violence. However, PREMIUM TIMES is aware that the security forces quickly took control of the situation. Due to the late delivery of the voting materials, voting was also postponed in Constituency 127, New England Ville.
John Kamara, a resident of Waterloo, argues that despite the election’s huge voter participation and relative calmness, the late arrival of voting materials is still a problem.
Publication of the Results
Election results are anticipated to trickle in after the manual counting of ballots, according to Jalloh Mohamed, a Freetown-based election observer.
According to the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), a runoff election will be held two weeks following the results of the first round if no presidential contender receives more than 55% of the valid votes cast.
Due to the pre-election tension and popularity of the two leading candidates, President Julius Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), who is running for a second and final term, and Samura Kamara, 72, the nominee of the All Peoples Congress (APC), many voters and analysts anticipate that the presidential elections will result in a run-off.
Security agencies had instructed radio stations not to reveal the election results until the electoral umpire made a formal declaration prior to the voting.
The ECSL stated on Saturday that voters in lines must be let to cast ballots even though voting in the elections is supposed to stop by 5:00 p.m.
The electoral umpire recognized the delayed arrival of voting materials in several areas of the Western District owing to “logistical” issues in a news release released on its Twitter account.
It urged Sierra Leoneans to abstain from violence and let the process unfold without incident.
At the time of publication on Saturday night, manual vote counting was still taking place in numerous polling places around the nation.