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BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 3:02pm March 26, 2018,

Sierra Leone presidential run-off can ‘go ahead as planned’, says court

A woman votes in election

The run-off presidential election in Sierra Leone can go ahead as planned, a High Court on Monday said after cancelling an injunction to delay the second round of the poll.

A court on Saturday upheld a request by a member of the ruling party for an injunction to delay the run-off poll.
Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, a lawyer and member of the ruling party All People’s Congress (APC), filed for the injunction on Thursday, arguing that allegations of electoral fraud should be investigated before the vote takes place.

Saturday’s court order stopped the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from proceeding with the vote until the hearing and determination.

But in a brief ruling read by Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray, the court said the election “can go ahead as planned”, without giving further details, the Reuters News Agency reports.

After Monday’s ruling, the NEC asked the court for a postponement of the vote until March 31 as its preparations were interrupted by the earlier order, AFP reported. It is currently not yet clear if the request will be granted.

Sierra Leone in its run-off vote will choose the country’s next president after none of the frontrunners was able to secure an absolute majority in the first round.

Julius Maada Bio, a former military coup leader won the first round of the presidential election with 43.3 percent of votes. This was short of the 55% he needed to avoid a run-off. Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 percent, the election commission announced. The two would now face each other in the run-off election.

The country’s current president Ernest Bai Koroma is stepping aside after his maximum two terms in office. His office had been riddled by an economic crisis caused by a collapse in iron ore prices, an Ebola epidemic in 2014 and last year’s mudslide in the capital Freetown that killed 500 people.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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