Calm is back in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province after supporters of the main parties, the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) clashed in the town of Koquima in the Kono District.
A BBC journalist in the country, Umaru Fofana reported that the violent clashes have led to the deployment of joint military and police patrols.
He further reported that eye witnesses said the clashes broke out after supporters of the SLPP began taunting APC faithful over the presidential results which puts SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio ahead with 75% of official results announced.
The original cause of the issue was between two neighbours before escalating to groups of supporters. A local police commander, Bockarie Sandy, confirmed injuries and arrests over the incident.
As at the last results update (75% official results on March 12), the National Electoral Commission (NEC) put Maada Bio ahead of the APC’s Samura Kamara with over 15,000 votes.
- SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio – 848,438 (43.3%)
- APC candidate, Samura Kamara – 833,519 (42.6%)
- Kandeh Yumkella (NGC) – 136,009 (6.9%)
- Samuel Sam-Sumana (C4C) – 67,132 (3.4%)
Meanwhile, the NEC says it is in the process of recounting votes from another 72 polling stations having earlier done same for over 80 others. The NEC boss, stresses that its officials were collating the results and would announce final results after necessary checks had been done.
A run-off presidential election between the first and second placed candidates is held two weeks after the certification of the results, unless a candidate wins 55% in the first round. It is increasingly becoming clear that none of the two leading candidates will win a first round.