Election officials have also occasionally been physically assaulted or threatened. International observers have expressed concerns about the ballot tally’s transparency.
Mohamed Chambas, the head of the ECOWAS Mission, praised Sierra Leoneans for their enthusiastic voting participation and the orderly way in which they conducted themselves throughout the voting process. He also urged all stakeholders, especially political parties, candidates, and supporters, to exercise patience during the post-election period.
The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) has also been urged to show accountability by hastening the tabulation procedure and promptly announcing the preliminary results.
Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah, an election observer and attorney, emphasized the significance of the electoral commission responding to any claims of injustice through openness.
After the polls closed on Saturday at 5:00 pm, the votes were sorted and counted right away. However, as instructed by the ECSL, voting extended into the night in certain polling places due to delays brought on by the tardy arrival of polling officials or supplies.
A total of 3,374,258 registered voters participated in the elections, which were held over 3,630 polling places and chose a new President, 135 legislators, and 493 mayors and local council members.
President Julius Maada Bio, 59, of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), who is running for re-election, is presently in the lead with over one million votes, according to reports. Samura Kamara, 72, of the APC, his major rival, who nearly lost to Bio in the 2018 election, received less than 800,000 votes.
Assuring his followers and the people of Sierra Leone that the APC is committed in its pursuit of a landslide win, Kamara allegedly stated that he would not accept any results that were thought to be skewed, manipulated, or unsubstantiated.
Despite these allegations, the results of the election are anticipated to be announced at the latest by Wednesday.
A runoff election will be place between the top two candidates two weeks following the official publication of the first-round results if no candidate receives the required 55% of valid votes in the first round.
According to preliminary reports, incumbent Bio is optimistic in scoring a landslide victory since results tallied at the party’s headquarters show that a rerun election won’t be required, according to Umaru Napoleon Koroma, the national secretary general of the ruling SLPP.
The people had made a clear decision, according to Koroma, and had given Bio another five years to guide the country.
Sierra Leone is anxious.
In the run-up to the election, Sierra Leone is still on edge due to the horrific civil war that tore through the nation from 1991 to 2002.
The necessity of a peaceful and trustworthy voting process is increased by the population of the nation’s keen awareness of the possibility of turmoil should a majority consensus not be reached.
Following the release of the preliminary results on Monday evening, Bio delivered a statement on television in which he urged residents to support stability both during and after the revelation of the election results.
“We each have a stake in maintaining peace during and after the announcement of the results of these elections,” he said.
A total of 95 ECOWAS observers were stationed in the country of West Africa to watch the presidential, parliamentary, mayoral, and local council elections.