Sierra Leone police hearth tear fuel at opposition HQ


Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, a outstanding APC member bidding for a second time period as Freetown mayor, tweeted photographs from contained in the constructing exhibiting folks taking cowl on the ground.

“I’m within the APC Get together workplace and we’re underneath hearth,” she wrote.

In an announcement, the Sierra Leone Police mentioned that members of the APC had paraded via Freetown “asserting to the general public that that they had gained” the elections.

They attracted “an enormous crowd” of supporters exterior the headquarters, who “began harassing passers-by”, the power mentioned.

“When the scenario grew to become insufferable, the Police needed to hearth teargas canisters in order to disperse the group which was harassing folks on the street,” it added.

Vote tallying received underway throughout the nation earlier on Sunday, however outcomes haven’t but been introduced.

Voting throughout Saturday’s presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections was principally peaceable.

However on Sunday, chief electoral commissioner Mohamed Konneh outlined quite a few districts the place he mentioned polling employees had been attacked by members of the general public.

Additionally on Sunday, the Sierra Leone Individuals’s Get together (SLPP) of President Julius Maada Bio alleged in an announcement that “top-ranking members” of the APC had attacked its polling brokers.

On Saturday night, senior members of the opposition occasion mentioned that violence had taken place close to a number of polling centres in Freetown.

The top of the Workplace of Nationwide Safety, Abdulai Caulker, mentioned at a press convention that he was not conscious of these alleged incidents.

Clashes additionally broke out exterior APC’s headquarters on Wednesday after the occasion referred to as for “peaceable” nationwide protests.

Sixty-six folks had been arrested Wednesday throughout Freetown, police mentioned.

The APC has additionally alleged that its supporters had been attacked whereas campaigning in rural components of the nation.

Some degree of political violence is typical of Sierra Leonean election campaigns.

– ‘Involved’ –

On Sunday night, the European Union Election Remark Mission mentioned it was “involved in regards to the ongoing tabulation course of”.

“Contemplating the extremely polarised political setting and prevailing distrust, it’s crucial that the Electoral Fee for Sierra Leone offers full transparency in the course of the tabulation of outcomes,” chief observer Evin Incir mentioned in an announcement.

The Carter Middle, which additionally despatched an commentary mission, mentioned Sunday night it was involved “about studies indicating a scarcity of transparency throughout components of the tabulation course of”.

Kamara of the APC alleged in an announcement earlier on Sunday that the electoral fee was making it “inconceivable for us and different political events to match, reconcile and confirm” tallying.

The APC has for weeks accused the electoral fee of bias in favour of the governing occasion, elevating hypothesis that it’s laying the groundwork for a court docket problem of the outcomes -– a tactic each events have used prior to now.

Konneh of the electoral fee mentioned in a press convention that the occasion’s calls for had been “virtually inconceivable” given the size of the tallying.

Many polling stations opened and closed late in Freetown on Saturday, with voting formally ending at 11:30 pm (2330 GMT), in response to Konneh.

He mentioned it had been “among the finest election days” in current historical past, “if not the perfect”.

Outcomes are anticipated inside 48 hours of the vote.

– Key gamers –

Twelve males and one lady had been operating for president, however incumbent Bio’s essential challenger is Kamara of the APC. Bio narrowly beat Kamara in a runoff in 2018.

Each essential events mentioned they had been assured of victory in statements on Sunday.

Some 3.4 million folks had been registered to vote, the electoral fee mentioned.

Presidential candidates should safe 55 p.c of legitimate votes for a first-round win.

Turnout has ranged from 76 to 87 p.c over the previous three elections.

Voters will even elect members of parliament and native councils underneath a brand new proportional illustration.

A June 14 ballot by survey group Institute for Governance Reform forecast that Bio would win 56 p.c of the vote, with 43 p.c for Kamara.

One other ballot, performed by the newspaper Sierra Eye and two native knowledge teams, forecast 38 p.c for the incumbent and 25 p.c for his essential challenger.

The elections are being carefully adopted in West Africa, a area not too long ago dominated by coups and turmoil.

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