Sierra Leone General Elections: Main opposition APC rejects results, demands re-run, travel bans on some govt officials 

By Paul Ejime

Sierra Leone’s main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) has rejected results of the 24 June 2023 general elections and called on Sierra Leoneans “to play their part in resisting tyranny and fight for the restoration of democracy, civility and good governance” in the country.


Sitting President Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has since been sworn in for a second term of five years after the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) declared him winner of the presidential poll with 56.17% of the votes.


The Commission said Dr Samura Kamara, the APC candidate came second with 41.16%.

In its latest statement issued on Friday in Freetown, “the APC unequivocally rejects the announced results of the recently concluded multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone, given the glaring irregularities and violations of established electoral procedures.”


“We demand the resignation of (Chief Commissioner) Mr. Mohamed Konneh and all the other commissioners of the ECSL based on demonstrated bias and failure to conduct their duties impartially,” the APC said, adding: “We insist on a rerun of the elections within six months to be overseen by credible individuals and institutions who will ensure a fair and transparent process.”


The party also “declares its non-participation in any level of governance, including the legislature and local councils, as the results have already been tampered with to give the SLPP an unjust majority at all levels.”


It further “demands the resignation of the following: Fayia Sellu, the Inspector-General of Police; Major General Patrick Lavahun, the Chief of Defence Staff; Abdulai Caulker, the National Security Coordinator; Francis Langumba Keili, the Chief of Staff of the Office of the ONS; and Desmond Babatunde Edwards, the Chief Justice,” alleging that “these individuals have shown a clear disregard for their constitutional duties and have instead aligned themselves with the undemocratic aspirations of (President) Julius Maada Bio.”


The APC also “urges international development partners to impose travel bans on key individuals who have played instrumental roles in stealing the mandate of the Sierra Leonean people,” including re-elected President Maada Bio and his wife, ministers of foreign affairs, information, internal affairs, Chief of defence staff, Inspector General of Police, Coordinator of the Office of National Security, deputy justice minister and the deputy Speaker of parliament.


“We call on all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad to play their part in resisting tyranny and fight for the restoration of democracy, civility and good governance in Sierra Leone,” the party added in the three-page statement.


The statement said the “stance of the APC in the last few days should not be mistaken as an acceptance of this obnoxious announcement of illegal electoral result but was an opportunity to document evidence and avoid falling into a mindless trap of violence that had been planned by this monstrous regime.”


The ECSL has not released results of the parliamentary, mayoral and Local Council elections.


The APC statement said: “They have not only tried to steal the presidential election, but also are working assiduously to give the SLPP a 2/3 majority in parliament and take a comfortable lead in local councils across the country.”


Sierra Leone has remained largely calm since the announcement of the election results with International Election Observation Missions to Sierra Leone’s 2023 General Elections, including ECOWAS, AU, the Commonwealth as well as the West Africa Elders’ Forum in sustained engagements with major political stakeholders to exercise restraint and work together for national peace to prevent the country from relapsing into conflict after its 10-year civil war that ended in 2002. ##


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