By KABS KANU
The ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) has taken a commanding lead in Sierra Leone’s landmark elections held yesterday Wednesday , according to provisional results being announced so far by the Independent Radio Network (IRN) and the APC Tally Centre. The APC seems to have swept the polls in the Western Area and all but one of the districts in the North as well as some key stations in the stronghold of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ).
We have to clarify however that these are preliminary figures coming from IRN and the collation centre. The official results come only from the National Elections Commission ( NEC ).
According to these preliminary numbers , with more results still in the pipeline, the APC has yet to reach the 55% threshold to stave off a runoff. But party stalwarts and officials closely monitoring the provisional results are confident that there will be no runoffs. But looking at the figures so far , even if there is a runoff, the opposition parties lack the demographics to overhaul the total APC percentage—-ALL because of the huge surprise that will surely be a feature of this elections : The failure of the much-celebrated and highly-rated new third force , the National Grand Coalition ( NGC ) , to live up to its hype and the expectations of people who thought that they will bring to an end the traditional dominance of the APC and the SLPP . The NGC and its cousin, the Coalition For Change ( C4C) , performed so badly that they will not be able to add anything to the SLPP tally to overtake the APC , if they combined .
However, the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) has been disputing these figures , claiming that their presidential candidate, Maada Bio, is leading.
These competing claims have forced NEC to hold a press conference today during which their Chair, Mr. N’FA Allie, cautioned the people against going by the preliminary results and asking all to wait for the official results which can come only through them.
APC officials and supporters are still confident to reach 55 % and win the elections at the first ballot. In fact, the Deputy Information Minister, Hon. Cornelius Deveaux , told Radio Tempo 94.7 this morning that from all the results so far received at the APC Tallying Centre the APC does not expect a runoff but he advised all supporters to remain calm and await the final pronouncement from NEC.
Since the electioneering campaign started in earnest, the APC has been talking about winning the elections without a runoff.
But as earlier stated, the talk of the nation is the failure of the NGC to be a force to be reckoned with. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella will learn that the Sierra Leonean people are not ready yet for a third force, especially as they still have confidence in the rule of the APC. However, some Sierra Leoneans feel that there will be a runoff and the NGC would be kingmakers.
THESE RESULTS ARE FROM IRN. AGAIN, PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL.
FROM 123 POLLING STATIONS SO FAR THAT HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED BY IRN IN THE COUNTRY,HERE ARE THE RESULTS.
APC- 14,535 = 52%
APC is Leading the Presidential Race by Over 12%.
The All People’s Congress (APC) is leading in the March 7th Presidential Polls, according to results from the APC Coalition Centre.
So far, out of the collated 2000 polling centers representing about 18% of the total number of centers, the APC has over 50% with 238,600 votes. The SLPP is trailing at 177,481 votes (36.37%). NGC has 34, 336 votes (7%) and C4C 16,162 (3%) A considerable number of the results are still pending, most of which are in the APC strongholds.
We will be bringing regular updates from the APC collation center. However, please note that NEC is the body mandated to announce the official results.
©Mohamed Gibril Sesay
Research and Manifesto Chair
Presidential Campaign Committee
All Peoples Congress