The High Court of Sierra Leone has postponed the country’s presidential election after a ruling party member, Ibrahim Sorie Koroma filed a legal request.
Mr. Koroma filed a request that the allegations of electoral fraud should be investigated before the presidential vote takes place.
The vote was scheduled for 27 March. The top court’s orders stopped the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from proceeding with the election preparation for the second runoff.
The Court said the NEC will not proceed until “the hearing and determination of this court.”
Following the court order, the NEC ceased all “logistical preparations” until the final court verdict on the issue.
In the first runoff, the election failed to have an outright winner as the ruling APC candidate ended slightly behind the opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio.
The second runoff has been marred by tension.
The NEC accused the police of disrupting its work. The NEC said in a statement that the police “unwarrantedly entered NEC premises, unannounced and at random, interrogated NEC staff, and obstructed them from performing their duties.”
Meanwhile, the African Union has condemned the violence before the final runoff in the Sierra Leonean presidential election.
In a statement, African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) “implored Sierra Leone stakeholders to uphold peace and avoid violence as the country gears itself up for the run-off presidential election.”
The AU Statement added: “The Head of AUEOM has however learned with dismay the worrisome prevalence of election-related violence which is increasingly become wide-spread across the country, including an incident that occurred in Bo City in which a staff member of the National Electoral Commission was reportedly injured.
“The Chairperson condemns such acts of violence which are inimical to the holding of democratic elections. The Head of AUEOM calls on the candidates of All Peoples’ Party (APC) and the Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) and their supporters to take immediate steps to avoid recurrence of such unfortunate incidences.”