Police and electoral body clash over Sierra Leone polls

With just five days to go to the presidential run-off vote, a row has broken out between Sierra Leone’s electoral commission and the national police force.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has accused the police of “unwarranted and unannounced” visits to their offices in three towns, two of which will prove key in determining who becomes the country’s next president.

In a press release, the election body says these visits risk compromising next week’s polls.

The NEC also reminded the police that it alone has the authority to run elections in the country.

The police hit back saying it has the backing of the law to probe allegations of election malpractice, 200 of which they say they are currently investigating.

They also asked for the NEC executive secretary to be released to them for questioning, which the commission now says it has done.

The police statement does not specify who lodged the complaint about the alleged electoral fraud.

But it comes in the wake of all major parties crying foul, in particular the governing APC which was narrowly beaten to second place in the first ballot.

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