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Africa
S Leone run-off results questioned
Ruling party may seek injunction to stop release of results it says are not credible.
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2007 10:55 GMT
Koroma, left, leads berewa, right, by 20 points with a quarter of votes still to be counted [AFP]
The ruling party in Sierra Leone has said it is seeking a court injunction to stop any more results from the country’s presidential run-off being published.

The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) said the results declared so far from last week's vote were not credible.
With three-quarters of the votes counted Ernest Koroma, the candidate for the opposition African people’s Congress (APC) had 60 per cent of the vote giving him a strong lead over his rival, Solomon Berewa, the country's vice president.

The election has exposed tensions and sharply divided public opinion in the impoverished West African country

"We are filing an injunction ... at the high court," SLPP spokesman Victor Reider told Reuters, adding he wanted the court to stop the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from publishing any more results.

"We are doing this over discrepancies in the figures which have been announced regarding the results of the run-off elections," he said.

'Fair results'

A spokeswoman for the NEC denied the SLPP claims and said it would continue to publish results as it got them.

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Some SLPP supporters say the NEC is deliberately withholding results from the ruling party's southern and eastern strongholds.

Armed police had to disperse protesters who gathered outside the NEC offices on Saturday holding up placards demanding "fair results".

Clashes during the campaign period raised fears of an outbreak of wider violence but election observers have so far commended the NEC's efforts as broadly transparent and credible.

Christiana Thorpe, the head of the NEC, said on Thursday the authorities were investigating reports of irregularities and complaints from both political parties and that no new results would be announced before Monday.

Should Koroma eventually prevail it would mark the first time power has transferred between parties in Sierra Leone since the end of a brutal ten-year civil war in 2002.

The presidential and parliamentary elections held on August 11 were the first since UN peacekeepers left two years ago.

Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, is standing down as president after serving the two terms permitted by the national constitution. He is backing Berewa.

Source:
Agencies
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