The heads of International Observation Missions have met ahead of announcement of official results of Saturday’s Sierra Leone presidential run-off election.
The meeting, according to a statement issued by a member of the ECOWAS Observation Missions, Paul Ejime, was held on Sunday in Freetown.
At the preventive diplomacy meeting were Amos Sawyer (ECOWAS), John Mahama (Commonwealth), Kgalena Motlanthe (AU) and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
Also represented at the meeting according to the statement were the EU, UNDP, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), the Mano River Union and the Women’s Situation Room for credible elections in Africa.
The run-off contest was between the opposition SLPP’s flag bearer Julius Bio and his ruling APC contender Samura Kamara, both of whom were front runners in the March 7 first round general elections.
“As happened in the aftermath of the announcement of the first round results, there appears to be rising tension in the build up to the outcome of the run-off poll.
“This tension is what the heads of observation missions are resolved to douse, for a successful conclusion of the electoral process.”
It noted that the election was largely peaceful with heavy security presence in a few polling centres.
“As counting and tallying of ballots continue, it is expected that the announcement of final results of the poll could take some time, in view of the pre-election agreement by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the two political parties to carry out ballot tallying according to districts.”