People hold signs asking for a re-count and credible elections near the high court in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Olivia Acland/File Photo

Sierra Leone opposition calls for election chief to resign

Reuters

People hold signs asking for a re-count and credible elections near the high court in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Olivia Acland/File Photo

called for the country’s electoral commissioners to resign a week before a presidential poll, saying his party did not believe in their ability to hold free and fair elections.

Samura Kamara, head of the All People’s Congress (APC) party, said he wanted the chief electoral commissioner and all regional commissioners of the national election body to be replaced by “an independent internationally accredited team”.

“We do not have a credible final voters register,” Kamara told Reuters late on Wednesday, following an address to the nation.

“The production of blurred and substandard voter identity cards, the repeated failure to meet deadlines regarding the submission of credible voter registration data, and the subsequent release of highly questionable data, have raised serious doubts about the Commission’s commitment to conducting free and fair elections,” he said.

The West African country will go to the polls on June 24 to decide whether President Julius Maada Bio will get a second term. Kamara was the runner-up to Bio in a close race in 2018.

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Bio’s ruling party said that Kamara’s claims about the electoral commission were “preposterous”.

“The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is gravely concerned about the deliberate attempts by the All People’s Congress to disrupt the peaceful elections and reverse the democratic gains Sierra Leone has made,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

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