25th April 2018
Tuesday's Run-Off in Doubt for High Court Injunction but NEC Says Polls will Go On!
By Abu Shaw in London (25/03/18)
An interim injunction by High Court in Freetown to stop the March 27 run-off has been slammed by the National Electoral Commission NEC.
This surprise court ruling was passed by Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray yesterday following a case brought on earlier in the week by one Ibrahim Sorie Koroma believed to be a diehard member of the ruling APC party. (Photo: The law courts building in Freetown will be very busy the next days).
Mr. Sorie Koroma, a family relations to President Ernest Koroma, is reported to have said that he is acting on his own personal capacity by auditing the overall conduct of the March 7 first round elections widely believed to be dotted with widespread malpractices and irregularities.
Sierra Leoneans are now left with the disappointing belief that the presidential election run-off on Tuesday will not go ahead as shceduled by the National Electoral Commission. However, NEC has slammed the court injunction which the High Court judge Mansaray noted will be in force until he has determined the matter before him.
Reports say the NEC has objected to the case after alluding that it is a constitutional matter and must be heard by the Supreme Court. The High Court has therefore agreed that NEC can make its case tomorrow Monday March 26, a day before the run-off, so as to decide whether the matter will be upgraded to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, for adjudication.
It is really a difficult situation the NEC officials are facing because the interim injunction has automatically tied their hands thus restricting them from exercising their electoral responsibilities like moving election materials etc. nationwide in preparation of the March 27 polls.
As we go to press, the NEC has however continued its electoral responsibilities as they prepare to launch their legal position tomorrow at the High Court in Freetown.
Many Sierra Leoneans believe this interim junction should not only benefit the ruling APC party led by presidential candidate Dr. Samura Kamara and the main opposition SLPP party led by presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio in the run-off.
The injunction is a clear evidence why the need for fresh elections should take place again as most of the 16 political parties that took part in the March 7 polls - now widely considered to be unfair and unfree - had launched numerous electoral complaints of malpractice to the NEC.
Sadly, the discredited NEC is yet to address these complaints, primarily started by the National Grand Coalition NGC led by Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. According to independent observers, the NGC, the party that came third in the polls, is believed to have really won the March 7 elections.
Nonetheless, the rampant corruption carried out by the APC and SLPP, the two oldest political parties in Sierra Leone, has disappointingly prevented the true reflection of the electoral results.