Africa, Elections, Julius Maada Bio, News, Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone -

Anticipation growing in Sierra Leone as election day approaches

Africa, Elections, Julius Maada Bio, News, Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone -

Anticipation growing in Sierra Leone as election day approaches

Tensions continue to rise in Sierra Leone leading up to their long-awaited polling day to elect a new president.

According to All Africathe 3.1 million voters eligible to vote will choose between their ruling parties, the APC or All Peoples’ Congress and the SLPP or the Sierra Leone People’s Party on Saturday.

Representing the APC is elected candidate Samura Kamara. Opposing Kamara is Julius Maada Bio, representing the SLPP. 

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Bio reportedly won the first round by only 15,000 votes, which received votes from over eighty-percent of eligible citizens on March 7. However, he failed to garner over 55% of all votes to win the election automatically. For that reason, the runoff is taking place and has caused tensions between the opposing parties.

All Africa reports that Bio of SLPP accused the police of working in tandem with the APC to incite intimidation to deter their supporters from polls. Additionally, they claim that the APC helped sponsor a probe into electoral fraud on their part, they claim, in an effort for the APC to retain rule.

The country’s High Court just recently lifted the delay on voting after the APC alleged that some ballots had been tampered with. The vote is expected to be fair and credible, despite the few disputes leading up to the big day.

Tensions between the parties reached new heights following a series of events that attacked and threatened the livelihood of supports for both sides. 

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“I’m just pleading to the two aspirants, Julius Maada Bio and Samura Kamara, to come out and explain things so their supporters should be calm,” Emmanuel Kalokoh, a market vendor, told All Africa about the worries voters have about clashes at the polls.

“All we need is just peaceful elections and I hope, in the name of God, everything is going to be calm on Saturday,” Kalokoh continued.

Sierra Leone has historically remained politically at ease since the ending of their tragic civil war of 2002. Elections remain the most tense in the country, however, because they often bring up disagreements and conflicts which dates back to the brutal time in the country’s history.

The vote will replace the rule of its decade-long president, Ernest Bai Koroma. Koroma is ineligible of re-election having served the maximum of his term, and led his citizens through the 2014-2016 scare of the Ebola crisis, which took nearly 4,000 lives, as well as a deadly mudslide that killed nearly 400 people last year.

It has been reported that most citizens are looking forward to a breath of fresh air with a new administration. Elected presidential officials receive five-year terms, with a maximum of two terms each.

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The post Anticipation growing in Sierra Leone as election day approaches appeared first on theGrio.

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