S.Leone president says US pressured him to interfere in vote


The president of Sierra Leone on Friday accused the United States of pressuring him to interfere in his country’s June 24 election count, a statement in stark contrast to the concerns Washington has leveled regarding the fairness of the poll.

“When the elections were at the height — of calling the results — this is when the problems started,” President Julius Maada Bio said during a speaking event at American University in Washington.

The Election Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), he said, “had done all their calculations, collations, all the processes. I was now requested to stop them from calling the result by the United States. So I don’t know who is accusing who of interference.”

“They are an independent, semiautonomous body,” the president said of the ECSL. “I declined, and I said I have never called this institution, I am not going to call them now.”

Bio, 59, was reelected in a disputed vote criticized by both the opposition and international observers.

In a…

Source: Vanguard Newspaper