Sierra Leone elections re-run or no re-run – SLPP and APC cross swords at press conference

Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 February 2024:

The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) is convinced that the thrust of the international community  mediated tripartite dialogue is about the conduct of future elections, while the opposition All People’s Congress  (APC ) is still giving its supporters faint hopes that everything, including a re-run of the 2023 elections is possible.

The SLPP Minister of Information and Civic Education, Mr. Chernoh Bah, who chaired yesterday’s press conference of the tripartite committee and the SLPP member of the committee, Dr. Emmanuel Gaima, were unequivocal in their contention that everything being done is for future elections, not the 2023 polls. They even strengthened their views with the assertion that the tripartite committee is not a legislative or investigative committee; rather, according to them, it is a committee set up to only review past elections and make recommendations for future elections.

But with supporters of his party all over the country and the world listening, the APC committee representative, Dr. Kaifala Marah, strongly warned that the final outcome of the review must not be preempted. He assured supporters that the 2023 elections will be fully investigated (even arguing that the words REVIEW and INVESTIGATE are synymous) and that the committee will make the right recommendations. He also suggested or insinuated that even if it can be agreed that the committee is not a legislative body, there are public election laws ratified by Parliament that have the same force of law. He even went on to quote the relevant sections of the law.

Thus, although Dr. Kaifala Marah’s statements seem vague and ambiguous with regards to whether there will be a re-run or not, they have the tendency of encouraging APC supporters to have hope of a possible re-run of the elections.

However, the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Bryan Hunt, in a post – press conference interview with the media, made it very clear that the $1.5 million his country donated to the committee through USAID has nothing to do with conducting a re-run, whose costs, he estimated, run into upwards of a hundred million dollars. The funding he went on, is to enhance the work of the committee.

In his usual very frank mood, the outspoken ambassador said anyone who suggests that the funding is for conducting a re-run of the 2023 elections is not telling the truth.

It is clear from yesterday’s press conference that the APC has not given up on the 2023 elections; and based on Dr. Kaifala Marah’s statements and his body language and the intensity of the applause that greeted his statements,  the APC is determined to make a fight of this issue.

Yesterday, I predicted that this press conference will reveal for once and for all whether there will be a re-run or not, but when the session ended, the issue was still not resolved as expected, because Dr. Kaifala Marah’s statements are subject to many interpretations. It all now depends on whose resolve you want to trust.

My take on the issue, after the press conference yesterday is that we all continue to wait. Time will tell who will be proved right – the SLPP or the APC.

In fact, considering the tension that built up in the conference room, which the Minister of Information worryingly mentioned and pleaded with panelists to defuse in their concluding statements, this is set to become a very contentious and divisive issue in the coming months.


  1. The APC unfortunately threw away their winning hand with their easy capitulation to the talks, after they had boycotted parliament and other institutions. It is laughable to think that the only demands they made were for their cases to be lifted, thereby showing their weakness. Imagine, if Nelson Mandela, had told the apartheid government that all he wanted was his case to be lifted, where would South Africa be today?It was said Siaka Stevens was a man and he had men behind him. EBK and his yes men are the laughing stock of West Africa.

  2. If the nation , principally APC, goes quiet about the 2023 elections, SLPP are bound to repeat their trickery to ensure that the 2028 elections are a replica of the 2023 elections – the wishes of the voters will be trampled on and discarded through the same methods which SLPP have fashioned, that is, murder, intimidation and placing demented people in key positions to maintain the status quo.
    By keeping the criminal fraud of SLPP alive and strong constantly should help to curtail the forgetfulness of the typical Sierra Leonean, especially when something does not affect them directly, such as the killing of a loved one by SLPP. And so if there is no re-run of the elections people’s memory will still be fresh as they go to the polls in 2028. 2028 may seem like an eternity but it is not. Each passing minute will be added pressure on Bio and his SLPP, added to which is not only the watchful eyes of the international community but their unannounced economic sanctions too.
    The pronouncements of the American Ambassador should quite simply be taken at face value. After all he is just a diplomat who should be skillful in his assertions; ultimately it us as a people who should solve our problems with methods we deem fit. In any case why should we depend on foreigners all the time to solve our problems. The Senegalese people, for example, are not looking up to the international community to get Marky Salle out, who is trying to manipulate the constitution to hold on to power.
    I must conclude by saying that I am not APC or SLPP, I used to sympathise with the late NGC, whose one time parliamentary leader, has been sunk into the shadows, and has become somewhat ghostly. I just want to see a Sierra Leone where all systems operate on a fair basis with corruption of whatever description dealt with ruthlessly and decisively. Bio has lost the fight because he is at the centre of it.

  3. Kabs Kanu again with his confused writings……..!!!! Salone is a poor country but to satisfy and please Rev. Kanu and his followers, there should be a re-run. Oh Mr. Thomas, why always this man, Kabs Kanu????? 2028 the Rev. can get his re-run, okay?

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