‘Votes do not reflect our expectations’


...Dr. Samura Kamara

March 19, 2018 By Regina Pratt

Dr. Samura kamara – APC presidential candidate

Presidential candidate for the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, has noted that the final result of the March 7 presidential election announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) did not reflect the expectations of his party, as they were expecting to reach the threshold of  55% and avoid a run-off.

Dr. Samura Kamara made the statement last Friday (March 16) on SLBC’s Morning Coffee show while speaking on his party’s preparedness ahead of the March 27 presidential run-off. He reiterated that the number of votes the APC secured did not reflect the popularity of the party and the good work they have done in the past ten years.

“We are going by the institutions that have the mandate to announce the legitimate results, despite the SLPP taking the lead in the first round, which surprised us because the numbers that came out did not reflect our expectations but as it is, we accept the results,” he said, adding that “We do get a lot of concerns, like the void votes which is about 139,000. That is a huge number for a small country.”

Dr. Kamara noted that his party hopes that going forward they would address those ‘malpractice and irregularities’ as they prepare to go into massive campaigns ahead of the run-off.

“I don’t think that its complacency or negligence on the part of the party and another major concern is the 600,000 that did not vote and why that huge figure,” he questioned, adding that many people claimed it was as a result of the vehicular ban or bad road network in some areas, which prevented some voters from voting.

He called on NEC to bring polling stations much closer to the people, adding that some people had to walk about 20 kilometres to access some polling stations.

He called on his supporters to be more vigilant and come out and vote peacefully, noting that the APC party also had their shortcomings, ranging from the quality of polling agents to failure to properly educating first time voters.

He averred that the country was divided based on the votes the two parties going into the run-off polled in the first round. “The results of 2018 did not show that Sierra Leone is a unified country,” he admitted matter of fact, and urged the need to go back to the TRC recommendations in a bid to know where the country has gone wrong.

He said politics was about serving others as it is better to accept than to shift blame to others, and that other parties should join him in the run-off because most of them are his colleagues.

He further expressed optimism that ‘common sense would prevail’ and that voters would be allowed to vote freely.

“In Sierra Leone, everybody suffers as the income level are generally low whether you are working or not,” said Dr. Samura, who had served as Minister of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank before his selection as presidential candidate of the ruling APC by President Ernest Bai Koroma.

He also commented that lawlessness and indiscipline, which have been prevalent over the last ten years,  are as a result of ‘lack of nationalism, respect for authority and the rule of law.’