U S Government demands investigation of June 24 electoral process

0
1143

By Alfred Koroma

The United States Government has called on the Government of Sierra Leone to institute an independent investigation into the process of June 24 elections process.

The US Government made the call in a press statement published on Friday 14 July, 2023.

Last month, incumbent President Julius Maada of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) was declared winner of a widely disputed election, securing 56.17 percent of the total votes cast for the Presidential election. Dr. Samura Kamara, his main challenger from the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) got 41.16 percent, according to the results announced by Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone. 

 The Parliamentary results of the pools also gave the ruling SLPP a total control of the legislative house having secured 81 parliamentary seats while APC pulled 54 seats.  APC has staunchly rejected the result, claiming it has been ‘tampered with to give the SLPP an unjust majority at all levels.’

But the main opposition party refused to seek redress at the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, citing lack of trust in the judicial system, and went further to declare it elected members will not participate in any level of governance, including the legislature and local councils.

June 24 election which has left the country deeply divided, was largely emblazoned with violence, political intolerance, hate speech and fake news orchestrated mostly by members and supporters of the two main political parties. 

Huge number of voters turned out to vote on the Election Day but voting was delayed in many parts of the country due to late arrival of voting materials. Inaccuracy of voter registers also caused crowds of voters to wait longer in queues. Further concerns around the conduct of the election and the results announced have emerged from the main opposition party and observers.  

In its press statement, the U.S Government said remained ‘’concerned about irregularities in the election results announced by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL).”

“Independent parallel vote tabulations and analyses by accredited national and international observation missions raise questions about the integrity of the official results,” the government said, calling for an independent, outside investigation of the elections process and integration of observer recommendations to improve the electoral modalities for future elections.

The United States also said it is disturbed by the reports of death threats against domestic and international observers, civil society organizations, and ECSL personnel and called on all actors to exercise restraint and engage in peaceful dialogue to resolve disputes.

“Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy,” U.S said, “government and political parties must commit to strengthening democratic institutions to better protect the rights and reflect the aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here