Sierra Leone Telegraph: 05 July 2023:
Since the announcement of the June 24th presidential and general elections results by Sierra Leone’s Electoral Commission (ECSL), the international community and independent election observers in and out of the country have refused to accept the integrity and veracity of the ballot tallying process.
They are accusing the ECSL of failing to ensure transparency and basic electoral standards, and have not accepted the swearing of Julius Maada Bio as President of Sierra Leone for a second term.
The main opposition APC party are calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice, the head of police, the head of the army, the chief electoral commissioner, and indeed the president himself in order to make way for fresh elections in six months.
The APC are also demanding the establishment of an international election arbitration court in Sierra Leone – made up of judges from the commonwealth to oversee all election petition cases.
These demands, accusations and refusal to accept the validity of the election results have put President Julius Maada at dangerous odds with the international community, whom he now describes as “Agents” of chaos and instability in Sierra Leone.
Speaking at a meeting with a small section of civil society organisations yesterday, President Bio attacked the international community in the country, accusing Britain, USA, Germany, Ireland and the European Union of “interfering in Sierra Leone’s politics”.
He said that the international community are promoting confusion and chaos in the country. “We have to guard against that, because you have no right to come and validate our election,” the retired military junta brigadier President Bio said.
“We have never done that to the European Union or any country in the European Union. We didn’t do that to the United States when they had their problem, when they attacked their Capitol…,” referring to President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results and the storming of Capitol Building by Trump supporters in 2020.
Taking a swipe at the Americans who yesterday were celebrating their Day of Independence, President Bio said: “We didn’t say their democracy was being attained with guns…”
Whilst President Bio was busy attacking the American government, the US State Department published this Tweet yesterday praising the President of Senegal – Macky Sall, of respecting his country’s democratic values after backing down from his previous bid to stay in office for a third term, contrary to the country’s constitution. The US State Department draw parallels with the undemocratic rigging of elections in Sierra Leone to keep President Bio in office.
See Tweet by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
President Bio said that the success of his SLPP party at the polls was down to sheer hard campaigning. “We had a spirited campaign. As a government, we went all over the country. We didn’t take anything for granted. We didn’t take the people for granted and we also used the campaign as a tool and means by which we can know the living condition of the people,” he told his civil society visitors to State House yesterday.
“But you still have people who want to bring about confusion from the same international community and we must guard against that,” as he lashes at those in and out of the country he refers to as “Agents” of chaos in Sierra Leone.
“We should stand our grounds and correct certain misrepresentation and tell them that it is the constitution of Sierra Leone that determines how results are counted here, not the chairman of the Electoral Commission,” Bio said, and that he will not go against the constitution.
“Because somebody comes from somewhere to monitor or observe and say this is not how we should do it.”
President Bio has drawn sword with the US, Britain, Ireland, Germany and the EU, forgetting that Sierra Leone cannot survive without the hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support he receives from those countries to keep his government and the nation’s economy afloat.
There are rumours President Bio is having secret talks with the Russian and Chinese governments to establish closer economic, security and political alliance that will replace Sierra Leone’s longstanding relationship with the West.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are both considering pulling out of Sierra Leone along with their Billion dollars financial assistance, until the current political impasse between President Bio and the country’s main opposition APC over rigged election results have been resolved.
In sharp contrast to President Bio’s jingoism and suicidal battle-ready approach, his Senior Adviser – former minister in the previous APC government who defected to join Bio’s government to avoid corruption charges – Mr Alpha Kanu (also popularly known as Alpha Khan), has been on national television begging the opposition APC presidential candidate Dr Samura Kamara to accept the rigged elections results.
This is what he said: