Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, 59, secured a second term following the recently concluded West African country’s general election.
The electoral commission confirmed his win, but his challenger, 72-year-old Samuel Kamara, has ‘categorically” disputed the results.
According to the electoral commission, Bio was re-elected with 56.17 percent of Saturday’s vote, while his top rival Samura Kamara, of the All People’s Congress (APC), came second with 41.16 percent.
“By the powers invested in me … I hereby certify that Bio Julius Maada … [is] duly elected president,” said Chief Electoral Commissioner Mohamed Kenewui Konneh.
Bio’s opponent Samuel Kamara rejected the announcement stating that the results were not credible.
“My compatriots. We have heard the unfortunate announcement of the elections results for the June 24 Presidential elections by the Chief Electoral Commissioner Mr Konneh. It is a sad day for our beloved country. It is a frontal attack on our fledgling democracy. These results are NOT credible and I categorically reject the outcome so announced by the electoral commission,” Kamara stated.
Supporters of both parties have claimed to have won in recent days, with Kamara saying that he was on an “irreversible path to an overwhelming victory”.
Following the announcement of the results many citizens said they were relieved at the peaceful atmosphere after electoral tensions and fears of violence in a country with a long history of turbulence.
However, international observers and the United States have also voiced concern about a lack of transparency in the counting process.
The monitors said they witnessed violence at seven polling stations during voting hours and at three others during the closing and counting stages.