By Sorie Fofana.
After the third progressive announcement of Presidential election results yesterday, the SLPP’s Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio is leading his main challenger, Dr. Samura Kamara of the APC by 14,991 votes.
Immediately after the announcement of the second set of progressive Presidential election results, the US Embassy in Freetown issued a Press Release, encouraging “Political parties and their supporters to exercise restraint” as they await “the full announcement of the electoral results by the NEC (National Electoral Commission)”.
At the end of every announcement of progressive results from the Presidential election held on 7th March, 2018 NEC reminds everyone that, they are the only constitutionally-mandated authority, responsible “to deliver election results”.
Credibility Of The Polls
At least, the head of the European Union Election Observation Mission in Sierra Leone, Ms. Jean Lambert has noted that, in spite of numerous challenges, the NEC was able to deliver a credible and well-organized electoral process in Sierra Leone.
“These elections, the fourth since the end of the civil war in 2002, marked another milestone in the consolidation of democracy in Sierra Leone…They were conducted transparently and impartially by the National Electoral Commission”, she said.
The Chief EU Election Observer called on the Sierra Leone Police Force to exercise their duties in an “impartial, proportionate manner and duly investigate all acts of violence”.
It appears as if the newly established parties, especially the NGC (National Grand Coalition) of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella and the C4C (Coalition for Change) of former elected Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana made significant gains at the expense of the ruling APC party.
The NGC ‘s Presidential candidate, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is so far in a distant third position, having secured about 6.95 percent of the total number of Presidential votes counted and announced by the Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of NEC, Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh.
The Presidential candidate of C4C, VP Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana is trailing behind Dr. Kandeh Yumkella with 3.43 percent of the total number of Presidential votes counted and announced by NEC.
VP Chief Sam Sumana
By far, VP Chief Sam Sumana is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the March 2018 elections. His party swept all the Parliamentary seats in Kono district, his birth place. The Kono people punished the APC for embarrassing and even humiliating their revered leader.
The APC did not only expel Chief Sam Sumana from the party, he was completely humiliated by being removed from his elected position of Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The APC government even refused to recognize the ECOWAS Court verdict delivered in favor of Chief Sam Sumana for his wrongful dismissal as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone by the party’s Leader/Chairman and President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
VP Chief Sam Sumana’s Diplomatic Passport was forcefully withdrawn from him at the Lungi International Airport upon his return to the country from self-imposed exile in Ghana.
His application for an Ordinary Passport was never processed by the Immigration Department headed by Kholifa Koroma, a big gun in the ruling party.
His official security detail was withdrawn from him and all the official vehicles assigned to him were taken away.
This is one of the men that will now decide the faith of the APC party in any possible run-off election.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella
In a possible run-off election, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is not likely to support the APC party.
In 1968, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella’s father, Bai Shebora Yumkella was the Paramount Chief of Samu Chiefdom in the Kambia district. He was a very strong member of the SLPP party. In fact, he served as Minister Without Portfolio in the government of Prime Minister, Sir Albert Margai. He was a very powerful traditional leader in Sierra Leone.
The APC hatched a plot to remove him from office as Paramount Chief, by alleging that, he was involved in the murder of one of his subjects. Chief Yumkella was charged with the offence of murder.
During his trial in Freetown, he was made to walk on foot from Pademba Road Prison to the Law Court Building in shackles. He was always handcuffed and escorted to and from court on barefoot.
The APC of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma tried to stop Dr. Kandeh Yumkella from running for the post of President, by alleging that, he did not relinquish his American citizenship before registering to become an elector in Sierra Leone.
The matter is still pending in the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone and has been adjourned to 28th March, 2018.
This is one of the people expected to keep the APC party in power in a possible run-off election this month.
Optimistic Maada Bio
The SLPP Presidential candidate, Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio is highly optimistic of a first ballot victory. His supporters believe that, they have the numbers now to give them an unassailable victory without a second ballot.
The NEC is expected to announce final results from the Presidential election held on March 7 today.
APC’s Best Bet
The ruling APC party is hoping for a run-off election, having performed so badly in their perceived strongholds.
As things stand now, the best bet for the APC Presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara will be a run-off election against his main challenger, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio.
Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio’s worse outcome from the Presidential election held on March 7, 2018 will be a run-off election with his main rival, Dr. Samura Kamara.