Counting of votes is ongoing across polling stations in Sierra Leone where elections were held Saturday across the different districts in the West African country.
The election is considered a straight contest between the president and candidate of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Julius Bio, and Samura Kamara, the flagbearer of the All Peoples Congress (APC).
Other presidential candidates in the elections are Bah Mohamed Chernoh of the National Democratic Alliance; Coker Prince, People’s Democratic Party; Jonjo Mohamed, Citizens Democratic Party; Kabuta Henry, United National Peoples Party; and Kakay Iye, Alliance Democratic Party.
Also on the ballot are Kamara Musa, Peace and Liberation Party; Margai Francis, People’s Movement For Democratic Change; Saccoh Dougakoro, Revolutionary United Front Party; Sandy Patrick, National Unity and Reconciliation Party; Sowa-Turay Mohamed, United Democratic Movement; and Williams Victor, Republic National Independent Party.
In addition to the presidential ballot, Sierra Leonean voters will also elect members of parliament and local councillors in what will be the fifth election since the end of the country’s civil war, 21 years ago.
In Freetown, the nation’s capital city, PREMIUM TIMES observed that voters trooped out peacefully to cast their votes for their favourite candidates. In few places where voting was delayed such as the SOS Children Village in Lumley, electoral officials eventually arrived to salvage the situation before noon.
In many parts of the Western District of Sierra Leone, voting has ended as of press time Saturday night while counting of votes was ongoing. At Salam Secondary School, Kossoh Town Western Rural, polling center 15124, three people were disenfranchised.
According to ECSL workers at the center, the Identity cards (ID) presented by the voters were not valid as the information on their voter’s register didn’t match the ID Cards of the three voters.
At Constituency 105, Polling Center 15003, Ward 372, three people were caught trying to engage in double voting. The ECSL voter’s register at the center showed that the three men had voted, or other people might have voted on their behalf earlier, and they were handed over to the security forces for further investigation.
At Waterloo, Western Rural District, polling center 15005, Ward 373, Constituency 105, there were reported cases of suspected ballot stuffing, which resulted in violence. But we understands that the security forces promptly contained the situation. Voting was also delayed at Constituency 127, New England Ville, due to the late arrival of polling materials.
Although the election has been relatively peaceful, with high voter turnout, late arrival of voting materials remains a concern, says John Kamara, a resident of Waterloo.
Credit: premium times