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

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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