Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 March 2018:
The ruling APC party leadership are recovering from the defeat they suffered at the first round of presidential election, as the opposition SLPP takes the lead. The ruling APC candidate – Dr Samura Kamara polled 42.7%, and the opposition SLPP candidate – Julius Maada Bio edging slightly ahead with 43.5%.
Appealing to the more than 57% of voters that rejected Dr Samura and the ruling APC at the polls, he said: “I am asking you to choose experience, credibility, honesty and passion which are the compelling virtues we need to take our country forward at this time.”
Samura must now win the support of almost all of the leaders of the opposition parties to ensure victory at the runoff, especially Dr Kandeh Yumkella of the NGC who polled 6.8% , and Samuel Sam Sumana of the C4C party with his 3.5% of votes.
Speaking after the results were announced yesterday, this is what Samura Kamara said:
“My Fellow Sierra Leoneans, I thank you very much for coming out in support of my party and for voting for me in such large numbers. We have come a long way as a country, we have overcome so many challenges standing and working together.
This too will pass and Sierra Leone will remain; we will remain as brothers and sisters, as neighbours, and as members of the same Sierra Leone family. It is therefore crucial to stay together and to respect each others’ differences as our democracy prescribes.
To all party members and supporters, I say many thanks to you and to our party structures, officers at the the National, Regional, District, Constituency, Ward and Zonal levels, as well as the many voluntary support groups for your hard work and steadfastness throughout this process.
It has been a challenging process and there has been a lot of anxiety. But as we prepare for a second round, let me continue to appeal to you to keep the peace and to be more vigilant and more robust to ensure our well-deserved victory is protected and delivered.
Work starts now and it must continue onto the polling day, onto the minute the ballots are counted, and onto the moment the results are finally announced.
We have the numbers, we have the support of the people of Sierra Leone; all we need in this Second Round is to ensure that there is no disconnect, no complacency. This means that we must all be watchful and monitor the process to the final end.
To my friends, brothers and sisters who are leading other political parties, I entreat you to join me in encouraging your supporters to remain peaceful and law abiding. We all have a responsibility to this nation, to protect its dignity and to uphold its statehood.
We must all be united even at times like this because in the end, this is our only country and it is our responsibility to make Sierra Leone a beacon of hope, peace and democracy.
As we go into the second round of this race, let me invite you to join me in our quest to build a stronger Sierra Leone by supporting my bid to become our beloved nation’s next democratically elected president.
To the National Electoral Commission, your constitutional mandate is to ensure that the will of the people is respected in the discharge of your duties.
I therefore urge you to carry out your duty diligently and judiciously. Sierra Leone must come out of this a united and stronger nation.
I would also like to thank the security sector for your excellent work during this process and I encourage you to continue the good work.
Once again, I thank you very much for your great support and I look forward to your continued support and to ensure my clear victory in the second round. I am asking you to choose experience, credibility, honesty and passion which are the compelling virtues we need to take our country forward at this time.
Thank you, God Bless you all, and God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.”