On 20 November there were reports of a skirmish in the eastern town of Kailahun, with AFP news agency reporting that police used teargas to disperse a group of APC supporters celebrating victory based on unofficial results released by the Independent Radio Network. It is seen as crucial that official results are released as soon as possible to end any uncertainty and speculation. The NEC announced on 20 November it had tallied 75 percent of the votes thus far.
NEC spokesman Albert Massaquoi denied allegations of NEC involvement in election malpractices. "It is not our policy to do that," he told IRIN. "We are aware of some minor malpractices. But the commission is satisfied with the election process so far," he said.
The election - Sierra Leone's third since the end of an 11-year civil war - passed off peacefully, and was widely praised by observers. On 18 November UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Sierra Leone on its "peaceful and largely orderly elections", issuing a communiqué stating: "The high voter turnout and the remarkable calm displayed by the country's citizens as they cast their votes are a clear manifestation of their desire for peace, democracy and development."
The statement also warned Sierra Leoneans against violence as they wait for the results. "The Secretary-General calls on Sierra Leone's political leaders, parties and their supporters to accept the will of the people and to put their country above any other interests so as not to jeopardize Sierra Leone's hard-won peace."
Richard Howitt, head of the European Union Election Observation Mission in Sierra Leone, told reporters: "The EU preliminary assessment ... records that so far in this election, there has been respect for freedom of speech, movement and universal suffrage."