• July 11, 2023

A FIRST FOR SIERRA LEONE

A FIRST FOR SIERRA LEONE
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Sierra Leone will hold fresh elections. This was a prediction and promise made by members of the international community that spoke to this medium in their private capacity. The men said the nation should expect fresh elections if the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone – ECSL and the president are serious about their love and concern for the welfare of the people of Sierra Leone.

The men made the last comment in the event that President Bio ignores the groundswell of sanctions that have already been slammed on his regime and continues at State House, adding that only the poor people of Sierra Leone will suffer as those in government are well off and can survive such a sanction onslaught.

It may be recalled that Sierra Leone went to the polls on Saturday 24 June 2023 which result has been termed by international observers as “broad daylight elections robbery”. After the disputed elections results, and in the face of mounting opposition and resistance to the results by all well-meaning observers including members of the ruling SLPP, the incumbent quickly had himself sworn in as president.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, our international partners and citizens from all the political parties have said to save the country from the embarrassment that has been caused by the elections result and our president’s seemingly insatiable quest to remain as head of state even if it means imposing himself on the people and stealing the will and mandate to lead from the hands of the electorate, that they are willing for a rerun of the failed 24 June elections.

They said Bio still has time to hold fresh elections as he has six months from the end of his tenure to organise fresh elections.

‘If you people of Sierra Leone and we the international community allow the election result to stand then it will not only be a national embarrassment, but it will also be international and will affect other elections results from across the continent. The reason for this is that the results are embroiled in statistical oddity that defies logic. The issue of the winner receiving 103 per cent of the 2018 votes has been repeated with the figures just not adding up this time around. The fact that the electoral commissioner is refusing to release results that’s his duty to release says that there is something definitely wrong. Why would you refuse to release what you have painstakingly gathered to release if something was not amiss?’ they asked rhetorically.

Our international development partners have said that to settle the impasse they need one of two things: either the ECSL does as demanded by all and sundry – except the SLPP or redo the whole elections. They added that the entire process from the voter registration process to the release of the voter ID cards had been made fraudulent by the ECSL.

‘Because the president had captured the ECSL head, he did as expected and tried stealing the will and mandate to lead from the people by forcefully imposing Bio on the electorate. But with no one calling to congratulate him and with the main opposition not participating in parliament and local councils, SLPP stands the chance of being the only government run by a single party. So far only paid supporters have endorsed the president; none of the people or institutions or governments we were hoping to congratulate the president has called to congratulate him. This is because everyone but the regime is cognizant of what happened on 24 June and the results that were announced. The only way to go past this is for fresh elections to be declared,’ the members of the international community told this press.

The men who said they are friends of Sierra Leone called on Julius Maada Bio and the ECSL boss Mohamed Kenewui Konneh to recognise the start of sanctions regiment against the government and do what is expected of them.

‘So far, the UNDP has cancelled key contractors’ pay at State House, the Youth Ministry cutting down on projects as a result of the withdrawal of funding. Even the judiciary will not be receiving their pay from your government’s sponsors. The only way out for President Bio is for him to do the honourable thing and see that his election has left the country sick, no one is happy with what’s going on. Even members of the ruling party we know have confided in us that they hope the president will concede that these elections were a travesty of justice against the voters and suffering people of Sierra Leone.’

According to our sources, the nation should be prepared as for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone we will be redoing the presidential elections. This they said is not an anomaly as the same happened in Kenya involving Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

Our international community friends said if they allow for this election result to be openly and brazenly hijacked by the incumbent then it will set the stage for the other seven elections slated for across Africa this year to go the same way citing the failure of the international community to act against elections theft by the incumbent regime.

Meanwhile, the people of Sierra Leone that spoke to this medium on this new development have said that they were not pleased with elections outcome, going as far as saying President Bio’s whole enterprise of coming back to Sierra Leone to play a leading role in our government has been plagued by illegality and failure to operate according to laid down rules, regulation and or procedures.

‘What we are now seeing today that is a cause of embarrassment for the entire country is the result of allowing Bio to have his way against set rules and procedures starting with how he became flagbearer against the SLPP constitution. We should not be surprise that President Bio is so desperate to go ten years that he will attempt to steal his way into a second term against the will of the voters. His win has indeed been a statistical oddity as the figures just don’t add up!’ they explained.

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