JMB Sworn In As Sa/Leone President
-But APC Candidate Samura Kamara vows Court Action
Reports from Freetown, Sierra Leone indicates that the Flag-bearer of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Retired Major Julius Maada Bio also known as JMB has been hastily sworn in as the new president of Sierra Leone in a local hotel in Freetown less than 2 hours after the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) declared him winner of the March 31, 2018 Run-off Presidential elections.But his rival, Dr. SamuraKamara of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party has complained that the election was marred by gross irregularities and so will challenge the election results in court.
According to eye witness reports, the election was declared free, fair and transparent by local and international observers without major incidents occurring except a brief interruption of internet services across the country and tension brewing over the NEC’s reluctant to release the official results on time as mandated by law.
Provisional results that were pouring in after the presidential run-off voting on March 31 showed the leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) of Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio also gaining a significant lead over his rival Dr. SamuraKamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).
The Independent Radio Network which was announcing the preliminary results as they were being counted at the National Elections Commission (NEC) headquarters in Freetown however stated that only the NEC was clothed with the authority to announce the official resultswinner of the presidential election.
JMB was however doing well in the western area especially in Freetown and its rural areas traditionally considered as major APC strongholds and in the Northern region especially in Port Loko, Bombali and Tonkolili districts. But although the APC was leading in their strongholds areas, the SLPP managed to gain significant votes in those APC strongholds compared to results the party obtained in the last two elections contested by JMB against the outgoing president Ernest BaiKoroma.
What made it difficult to determine a clear cut winner, initially is that the SLPP remains a dominant factor in the South and Eastern region strongholds of Kailahun, Bo, Kenema, Pujehun and Moyamba districts while splitting large votes in several constituencies in Freetown, Kambia and Koinadugu districts in the Northern Province.
According to Maada Bio’s vice presidential running mate Dr. Mohamed JuldehJalloh speaking in a press interview in Kenema, he wants to express thanks and appreciation to all SLPP supporters and those who did not vote for the party for the party’s victory,as messages of congratulations continued to pour in following the news on Wednesday.