Sierra Leone’s controversial June 2023 election outcome that refuses to go away

Africanist Press: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 February 2024:

Sierra Leone’s 1991 Constitution, and the Public Elections Act 2022, forbids the inauguration of a President, Members of Parliament, and representatives of Local Government Councils without properly conducted elections.

Under Sierra Leonean law, elections are only considered properly and democratically conducted when all votes in each polling station, in each polling center, and in each district, and in each region have been fully counted, properly tallied, completely verified, and collectively approved by political party agents and the authorized polling staff before they can be sent to the national verification and tallying center for final processing and verification ahead of any public announcement and declaration of winner(s) by the national returning officer.

For instance, in order to be considered properly and constitutionally elected for the Office of President, Section 51(1) of Sierra Leone’s Public Elections Act 2022 provides that “a Presiding Officer shall, after the expiration of the time fixed for polling, count the votes, polling station by polling station, certify the result of the counting, stating the number of valid votes cast in favor of each presidential candidate to the District Returning Officer, who shall in turn certify the result to the Regional Returning Officer, and the Regional Returning Officer shall in turn certify the result to the National Returning Officer.”

Section 51(2) adds that “as soon as possible after receipt of the result of the counting of votes under subsection (1), the Returning Officer shall tally and compute the results certified to him by the various Presiding Officers and shall after that declare the result of the election.”

The Sierra Leone elections of June 2023 did not follow this stipulated legal and constitutional procedures for the conduct of a Presidential election.

Similarly, the June 2023 elections did not comply with the legislative requirements for the election of representatives of the Local Government Councils, neither did it follow the stipulated requirements for the election of Members of Parliament.

The National Returning Officer, Mohamed Konneh did not wait for districts and regions to complete their vote counting and tallying process before announcing alleged winners of the June 2023 presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections.

International and local observers who monitored the June 2023 elections collectively agreed that the elections were non-transparent, and were equally fraught with numerous irregularities. The irregularities included the deliberate announcement of election results when vote counting and tallying was still in progress.

Thus, if Mohamed Konneh did not wait for districts and regional tallies to be completed, where did ECSL generate the votes and the numbers used to announce alleged winners of the June 2023 presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections?

And if regional tallies and national tabulations were still incomplete when ECSL announced the elections results, which numbers and which votes did ECSL relied on to declare Maada Bio, and the various SLPP and APC parliamentary and local council candidates, winners of the June 2023 presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections?

In this episode, we provide a further analysis of the legal and political implications of the SLPP and APC’s power-sharing agreement that has unprecedentedly inaugurated a President, Members of Parliament, and Local Council representatives in Sierra Leone without a properly conducted election.

This episode is part of the VOICE FROM EXILE commentary series of the Africanist Press.



  1. There was never a time when Bio and his gang did not know the stipulations of the constitution in the conduct of elections. They knew that if they followed such stipulations, they were as good as defeated – crookedness, intimidation and violence therefore became their weapons. The presence of both local and national objective observers did nothing to divert them from their malevolent escapades. The first to fall victim to the malevolence was the main opposition party – a certain APC led by one Samura Kamara. Only non-conventional methods can now remove Bio and his SLPP gang from power , any other method will be stillborn. Social media should not allow the conduct and outcome of the 24 June 2023 elections to go away and be subjected to an afterthought.

  2. Day dreaming and wishful thinking are the order of the day with the other minded Salone People. By the way, what did ECOWAS say about the June 2023 Elections or ECOWAS standing is only important when EBK has to go for medical check-ups!! Oh, my Salone People please use your education to improve your COUNTRY.

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