Sierra Leone’s Supreme Court is expected to today (Monday) hear an injunction to effectively stop the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from publishing any more results.
The ruling Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP) which brought the case, contends that there were massive irregularities in the September 8 presidential run-off election. But the electoral commission dismissed the ruling party’s claim and said it would continue to publish results as they come it.
Late Sunday night, the NEC announced it would give its latest results today (Monday) at 10 a.m. local time instead of the usual six p.m local time. In the most recent results, opposition candidate Ernest Bai Koroma continues to maintain his lead over Vice President and SLPP candidate Solomon Berewa.
Meanwhile, international and local observers have described the elections as free, fair and credible.
Ibrahim Abdallah is a Sierra political analyst. From the capital, Freetown he tells reporter Peter Clottey the SLPP has a right to challenge the irregularities it claims exist.
“If I understand it correctly, the (Sierra Leone) People’s Party is actually concerned with discrepancy between certain figures that were published and the figures that appeared on the Internet. If that is correct, the issue that they are raising substantively cannot stop Madam Thorpe from doing what she wants to do today (Monday) i.e. announce the rest of the results because constitutionally, you can go ahead and challenge the results, but you cannot stop or halt the process i.e. stop announcing the results for the nation,” Abdallah noted.
He said the right to challenge any irregularities in court is part of the process that would nurture the country’s young democracy.
“I think they have a right to challenge the results, I mean that is part of the democratic process. The process has to be credible; it has to be transparent… as far as I’m concerned that is in accordance with the democratic process. But then people have the right to say well the issues that you are raising are not substantive issues, these are minor issues, and then that is when the court comes in,” he said.
Abdallah said there are more substantive issues that the SLPP can contest about the elections.
“The way I see this is that if they want to raise issues like that. I mean there are some substantive issues, i.e. if you look at what happened in Kailahun and Kenema there were cases of over voting. I mean that goes against the people’s party. If you look at the results in Kailahun and Pujehun, there was over voting too. So those two areas have always been susceptible to that kind of thing, so if the people are raising that against the People’s Party, I don’t think that is going to auger well for them. But now they are the ones that are raising those issues not the opposition, which in my view has won the elections,” Abdallah pointed out.