U.S. watching Sierra Leone vote fallout

Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Any issues outstanding from mid-November elections in Sierra Leone need to be resolved according to the rule of law, a U.S. official said.

Voters in Sierra Leone gave President Ernest Bai Koroma a second term in office in Nov. 17 elections, the third since the country emerged from civil war in 2002. Elections were considered fair and peaceful, though opposition leaders cried foul in the aftermath of the broad-based vote.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, called on Sierra Leone's national election commission to work with other interested parties to address any deficiencies for the sake of democratic progress.

"Any grievances related to the election must be resolved through Sierra Leone's judiciary, in accordance with the rule of law," she said in a statement. "We urge all party leaders to refrain from actions that incite violence or encourage acts of retribution."

At least 50,000 people were killed during Sierra Leone's civil war. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was sentenced by a U.N. special court in May to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebel forces in the country during the conflict.

Early election results favor the ruling All People's Congress.

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