Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 August 2023:
Local Ward Councillors, Mayors and Chairpersons of Local Councils across Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, who were elected at the June 2023 elections to represent the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party, yesterday boycotted the government’s planned swearing-in ceremony in continuation of their protest of passive resistance against the Bio-led government, after the APC party declared the election results as fraudulent.
Yesterday’s boycott by the APC Freetown local council politicians, was also a show of solidarity with the party’s executives and elected parliamentarians, who a few weeks ago said they will not engage in any form of governance involving the ruling SLPP and the Bio-led government, in protest at the election results announced by the Electoral Commission which the APC says was rigged in favour of President Bio.
Explaining the reasons for yesterday’s boycott, the elected Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, said: “Dear Freetonians, by way of update on the current situation, please be informed that the swearing in ceremony for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors of Freetown City Council and the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Councillors of the Western Area Rural District was held at the Freetown City Council Auditorium yesterday Thursday 17th August 2023.
“The Mayor, the Chairman and our Deputies and all APC Councillors did not attend the event in continuation of the APC Party’s nonparticipation in governance following the announcement of election results that do not reflect the actual results tallied at polling stations*.
“It should be noted that the APC Party has agreed to engage the government in a dialogue facilitated by a credible independent, external arbiter or institution to address the current political impasse. Thank you again for your overwhelming vote of confidence in me. I look forward to continuing to serve Freetown with all my heart, with all my abilities and in partnership with all Freetonians.”
Meanwhile, the opposition APC leadership has accepted the United States and Commonwealth Secretariat’s proposal for dialogue to end Sierra Leone’s deepening political crisis, but president Bio it seems, has so far failed to respond.