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Sierra Leone : Vote counting starts after elections, as police raids opposition party office


The National Electoral Commission chairperson in Sierra Leone has urged citizens to patiently await official results that will take several days to tally.

Mohamed Conteh was giving the first brief to journalists and the country since polls closed at 5pm GMT.

“Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission,” Conteh said.

Tension has however risen after police raided the offices of the main opposition candidate, saying they were tipped off of a possible hack on the electoral system.

Local television station, AYV media, spoke to Julius Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP), who told them that Police sought to search his offices without a warrant and when denied entry, they were reinforced by riot police.

Bio who said all they have at the office are computers and a mobile phone to verify results as they trickle in, believes the raid is an attempt by the ruling government to interrupt this process.

Bio’s team insists that they have a right to establish an independent tallying center, declaring the police raids as a form of intimidation.

A government spokesperson refuted allegations of intimidation, insisting that the national police doesn’t work for the ruling All Peoples’ Congress (APC) party, but rather has a mandate to preserve law and order.

Counting is underway in most polling stations, even as police quells clashes between supporters of the ruling party and the opposition in some parts of the capital.

Meanwhile, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan  has advised the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to ensure that election guidelines are followed in the collation of voting.

The former President of Nigeria, who headed the monitoring group to the elections, said it was important for NEC to ensure that the collation of the results followed due process and laid down rules and regulations.

He said recording peaceful voting was just one aspect of election, the process of collating the result was also critical.

“If you look at the problem that we have in Kenya, it is not the voting per say, it was the transmission of results that people challenged in the court and the election was nullified in Supreme Court,” he said.

He said once the guidelines were followed, the process and the results would be accepted by all.