Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 July 2023:
It is now three weeks since the results of presidential, general and local elections held in Sierra Leone, were announced by the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL). And so far, there is no end in sight to the unprecedented political crisis in the country, created by the ECSL after declaring Julius Maada Bio as president for a second term, and his ruling SLPP party as winner of the parliamentary election with a huge majority.
The main opposition APC have rejected the outcome of the results, demanding full disclosure of all polling station disaggregated results.
The international community in the country are also refusing to accept the rigged results announced by the ECSL boss Mohamed Konneh (Photo). They are demanding transparency and refering to the elections as lacking integrity.
Yesterday the US government published this statement: “The United States continues to be concerned about irregularities in the election results announced by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL). Independent parallel vote tabulations and analyses by accredited national and international observation missions raise questions about the integrity of the official results.
“We call on the government to institute an independent, outside investigation of the elections process and integrate observer recommendations to improve the electoral modalities for future elections.
“We are also disturbed by the reports of intimidation – including death threats – against domestic and international observers, civil society organizations, and ECSL personnel. We call on all actors to exercise restraint and engage in peaceful dialogue to resolve disputes.
“The resolve and determination of Sierra Leoneans who went out to the polls on June 24 to make their voices heard was inspiring. Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy.
“The government and political parties must commit to strengthening democratic institutions to better protect the rights and reflect the aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone.”
This latest US government statement comes on the heels of evidence of serious electoral malpractice revealed by Freetown Mayor-Elect Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr yesterday.
Mayor-Elect Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr said that: “Results and Reconciliation Forms (RRFs) are public documents which record the votes secured by candidates at each polling station. They are completed, signed and stamped by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (“ECSL”) staff and also signed by the political party agents and independent observers present.
“The RRFs are displayed at the polling stations so that the voting public can see the votes secured by all candidates at those polling stations, and voters can thus themselves follow the tallying element of the electoral process.
“It has taken longer than 48 hours but I am pleased to share with the voting public and with all other interested stakeholders, the attached spreadsheet with links to uploaded copies of 1,289 RRFs from 226 (80%) of polling centers. Please click on the blue hyperlink in column M for the polling center and polling station to access the relevant RRF.
“The results data from these uploaded 1,289 RRFs are summarized at the top of the spreadsheet and show 191,634 (66.1%) votes for Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and 95,025 (32.78%) votes for Mohamed Gento Kamara.
“As at today, we have now obtained results data extracted from 1,778 RRFs from 272 (96%) of polling centers in Freetown. This includes the 1,289 RRFs which have been uploaded and data from 489 RRFs that have yet to be uploaded. (It should be noted that a number of stations did not open on polling day and there were stations at which the box for mayoral votes was missing).
“The summary of the results data from the 1,778 RRFs show 263,858 votes (66.07%) for Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and 131,652 votes (32.97%) for Mohammed Gento Kamara.
“It is the expectation of candidates, voters and election observers that the votes secured and recorded in the RRFs at polling stations, will be reflected in the official results announced by ECSL.
“That is the reason why the All People’s Congress Party, the National Elections Watch (“NEW”) and all the international observers are requesting that ECSL disclose the disaggregated results per polling station that were tallied to arrive at the published results for all levels of the 24th June 2023 Sierra Leone elections.
“We hope that this very reasonable request will be granted as it is the right of every citizen to have their vote counted and thus their voice heard in a democracy.”
You can see the spreadsheet with links to uploaded copies of 1,289 RRFs from 226 (80%) of polling centers here: