Not satisfied with the outcome of the Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff vote, where it lost to the opposition People’s Party, PP, the former ruling All People’s Congress, APC, has vowed to challenge the results in court.
The National Electoral Commission announced late Wednesday that Julius Maada Bio of PP had won APC’s Samura Kamara.
Bio, who had lost the presidential election in 2012, was swiftly sworn into office just before midnight, reports AP.
However, Kamara said in an interview broadcast on national television that “the results did not reflect the will of the voters.”
He said his APC party intends to take “appropriate legal action.”
Any registered voter has seven days to petition the Supreme Court over the results.
Bio has pledged to work for national unity in the West African country of 7 million people.
He faces a parliament that is dominated by the All Peoples Congress party.
Bio, a former military leader, won Saturday’s run-off election with 51.81 percent of valid votes cast, the electoral commission said. Kamara received 48.19 percent of the votes.
The runoff vote was delayed by a few days after a ruling party member filed a court challenge alleging irregularities in the first round and a temporary injunction was issued, stalling preparations.
The high court later lifted the injunction.
Bio will now lead efforts to continue rebuilding the country after the devastating 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, as well as a deadly mudslide in August that killed some 1,000 people in the capital, Freetown.
The election was the fourth since Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war ended in 2002.
Outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma had served two terms and was barred by the constitution from running again.