The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) has declared incumbent President Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party with One Million, Five hundred Sixty-six thousand, nine hundred thirty-two (1,566,932) votes which constitutes 56.17% in the just ended Presidential and General Elections.
The ECSL said President Bio closet rival, former ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Party candidate Samura Kamara got One Million, One hundred forty-eight thousand, two hundred Sixty-two (1,148,262) votes cast constitutes 41.16%
President Julius Maada Bio was sworn into office following the pronouncement.
According to Sierra Leone constitution, in order to win in the first round, a candidate needs more than 55% of the vote.
Immediately after the pronouncement of the final results, APC candidate Samura Kamara twitted as saying “my compatriots. We have heard the unfortunate announcement of the elections results for the June 24 Presidential elections by the Chief Electoral Commissioner Mr. Konneh. It is a sad day for our beloved country. It is a frontal attack on our fledgling democracy.
The Saturday, June 24, 2023 polls are for Sierra Leoneans choosing a President, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Councilors in the West African Country’s fifth election since the civil war ended in 2002. The polls saw a high turnout, with voters telling our Reporter that the process was smooth in respect of some polling stations opening late in many areas.
In Saturday’s polls across the Country 3,630 polling Centers, 3,374,258 registered voters out of an estimated population of 8.7 million voted for a new President, 135 Parliamentarians, and 493 Mayors and Local Councilors.
Incumbent President Julius Maada Bio, of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is running for a second term five-year while his main contender among the 12 challengers is Dr. Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) which is a repeat of the race in 2018, that narrowly brought President Bio to power in the second round run-off.
However, the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) in a press conference earlier this week, had emphasized that they had mechanisms in place to ensure free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.
Prior to the June 24 elections, 30% of women’s representation in all positions of both public and private sector including Parliament law has been passed but Sierra Leone’s Institute for Government Reform (IGR) analysis projected the next parliament will fall short of this which out of the 13 Presidential candidates only one is a woman known as IYE KAKAY.
At the same time, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Head of Mission, Dr Mohamed Chambas has commended Sierra Leoneans for coming out in their numbers to cast their vote and for the disciplined manner they conducted themselves.
He further urged all stakeholders, especially the political parties with their candidates and supporters to exercise patience in the post-election period.
ECOWAS deployed 95 observers for the Presidential, Parliamentarians, Mayoral, and Local Council Elections.
During its series of pre-election consultations with major political stakeholders, Dr. Chambas underscored the need for a peaceful and credible electoral process, the consolidation of post-conflict governance gains in the country, and the deepening of democracy in the ECOWAS region.
Meanwhile, prior to the final results, the All People’s Congress (APC) of Samura Kamara has called on her supporters to remain calm and refrain from any form of violence or unlawful activities but insisted for peaceful protest and respect for law are fundamentals to the Party’s values and principles.
The Party’s Press release on June 26, 2023, stated that the Party is committed to pursuing all legal avenues to ensure Justice prevails and noted that they firmly believe the independence and integrity of the Country’s Judiciary as a result intended to take the matter to Supreme Court.
“The APC would like to emphasize that our fight is not against Sierra Leone but against the perceived injustices within the electoral process. We call upon our supporters and well-wishers to maintain Unity, discipline and respect for the rule of law during this critical period”.
Figo Mansaray is a Liberian Journalist for over 10 years and currently working with Kukatonon Media Inc and AYV Media Empire.
Figo, a prospective Graduate at the University of Liberia can be contacted via +231777489052/+231881734014 and firstname.lastname@example.org