- Supporters of Sierra Leone’s presidential run-off candidates [Ernest Bai Koroma and Solomon Berewa] have missed a golden chance that seeks to nail their differences. The joint peace rally involving members of the ruling SLPP and opposition APC has been canceled after the two political leaders boycotted the event.
The “violence-free elections” rally, agreed after the two leaders expressed commitment to preach peace among their supporters, was scheduled for today in the capital Freetown. It would have allowed rival supporters to sit side by side to throw away their differences and promote unity and understanding.
Mr Koroma’s excuse was centred on security fears, but his opponent would not tell the reasons for boycotting the watershed event.
Officials of the Action People’s Congress said the fact that their supporters have been harassed and intimidated, they will only match until all the peace agreement conditions are fulfilled.
Following consultation with the outgoing President, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, both Koroma and Berewa condemned electoral violence. They asked their supporters to keep peace as they go to the polls on 8 September.
President Kabbah had threatened to impose a state of emergency if campaign violence intensified.
Over two million voters went to the first round polls on 11 August. But the results failed to produced a winner, resulting to a second round poll. Koroma led with 44% compared to Berewa’s 38%. The opposition party also led the legislative contest, polling 59 of the 112 seats while the SLPP obtained 43.
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