Sierra Leone's opposition calls boycott

Nov. 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Despite international claims of a fair vote, the opposition party in Sierra Leone said recent elections were riddled with fraud.

Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio lost to incumbent President Enrest Bai Koroma in Nov. 17 elections. The opposition Sierra Leone People's Party took 40 percent of the seats in the parliamentary contest, finishing second to Koroma's All People's Congress.

World leaders described the contest, the first state-run election since civil war ended in 2002, as largely peaceful and free. The BBC reports, however, that the opposition party said it would boycott the new government unless its elections complaints are addressed.

The party said it had evidence that ballot boxes were stuffed in favor of the ruling APC. The country election commission, however, said it found "no evidence" of tampering, the BBC reports.

More than 50,000 people were killed in civil war that raged for more than a decade. Mayoral, local council, parliamentary and presidential elections were the second since peacekeepers from the U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone left the country in 2005.

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