Open letter to Sierra Leone’s chief electoral commissioner

Sylvanus Fornah Koroma Esq: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 July 2024:

I am writing to formally request the detailed publication and gazetting of the June 2023 multi-tier election results as received by the Returning Officers of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL). These results, certified by the District Returning Officers to the Regional Returning Officers and subsequently to the National Returning Officer, should have been the basis for the announcement and declaration of the presidential results on June 27, 2023, and other election results including parliamentary elections. (Photo above: Chief Electoral Commissioner – Mohamed Konneh).

The Public Elections Act of 2022 (PEA 2022) mandates the immediate or prompt publication and gazetting of election results following the declaration of the presidential results, as stipulated in Sections 52(b) and 93(a) of the Act.

Furthermore, Section 93(b) of the Act requires the publication of parliamentary election results by Government Notice. These statutory requirements are crucial for informing and guiding petitioners, whose actions are time-bound under Section 54(1) of the Act.

The delay or failure to publish and gazette these election results is not only problematic but also poses a risk of unrest in our country, as evidenced by the need for the National Unity Agreement signed on October 18, 2023. The Terms of Reference of the Tripartite Committee which Report was recently presented to the Head of State on July 1, 2024, emphasized the examination of the June 2023 multi-tier election, drawing on previous elections from 2007 to 2018.

Despite formal requests from the All Peoples Congress members of the Tripartite Committee, the ECSL has yet to comply with the publication and gazetting of the results that the Returning Officers received station by nation countrywide.

While Section 32(11) of the 1991 Constitution grants the Electoral Commission immunity from direction or control by any person or authority, this provision does not absolve the Commission from its legal obligations. Therefore, I am making a final plea to the National Returning Officer and the ECSL to fulfil their statutory duty to publish and gazette the June 2023 multi-tier election results that were in organized and received, tallied, and certified as in Section 51 of the Public Elections Act 2022, thereby avoiding the necessity of challenging this reliance on constitutional immunity.

The refusal to publish and gazette the results poses a serious threat to peace and stability in Sierra Leone. Journalist Umaru Fofana recently quoted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Sierra Leone on Facebook:

“Prior to 1991, successive regimes became increasingly impervious to the wishes and needs of the majority. Instead of implementing positive and progressive policies, each regime perpetuated the ills and self-serving machinations left behind by its predecessor. A number of internal factors accumulated, which made armed rebellion an increasingly attractive option for many disaffected Sierra Leoneans. These factors included unrestrained greed, corruption, and bad governance. Institutional collapse reduced the vast majority of a state of deprivation. Government accountability was non-existent. Political expression and dissent had been crushed. Democracy and the rule od law were dead. By 1991, Sierra Leone was a deeply divided society, full of potential for violence. It required only the slightest spark for this violence to be ignited.”

This quotation from the TRC highlights the severe consequences of governance failures and unaddressed grievances, stressing the importance of transparency and accountability to prevent the recurrence of violence.

Additionally, during a recent Facebook and YouTube Talking Point Platform interview, the current Minister of Information, Mr. Chernor Bah, commented on the November 26, 2023, armed struggle (labelled as a coup) when the interviewer brought the issue of the soldiers that were interviewed on a similar program on the same platform. The soldiers involved claimed that one of their principal reasons for the armed struggle was the perception that the ECSL had conspired to manipulate the election results.

The publication and gazetting of the election results received from the Returning Officers, already tallied, computed, and certified, should not be problematic if the announced declaration were based on those results. However, any perception of election malpractice will lead to significant unrest.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I look forward to a detailed and immediate response to this request, hoping it will preclude the need for alternative actions challenging the Commission’s immunity.

Yours sincerely,

Sylvanus Fornah Koroma Esq.


  1. These three thieves should have no place to hide.
    The best they can for themselves, let show the winning result
    that just simple.

  2. No hiding place for Koneh, Bio and Sengeh. Chief electoral thieves in Sierra Leone. We are coming for you.

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