The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) has issued a clarification regarding a viral video circulating on social media.

The video shows a group of individuals washing ballot boxes in a river in Kailahun.

In an interview with Radio Democracy, Mohamed Turay, Director of Operations ECSL clarified that the ballot boxes shown in the video were used during the 2018 elections and had been stored away since then. He said that ECSL hired individuals to clean and prepare these boxes for use in the upcoming June 24 elections.

He emphasized that this activity was unrelated to ensuring a free and credible election, as claimed by the individuals who filmed the process.

The Director of Operations reaffirmed the ECSL’s commitment to conducting free, fair, and credible elections, which they have successfully done in the past year. The ECSL’s efforts have been recognized as a positive example in the sub-region.

Regarding the issue of borrowing ballot boxes from neighboring Guinea, Mohamed Turay explained that the ECSL required 47,000 ballot boxes for the June 24 elections. Additionally, an extra 12,000 boxes would be needed in the event of a runoff. However, the commission only possessed 38,000 ballot boxes. Consequently, they reached out to Guinea to borrow the additional ballot boxes.

Turay further highlighted that this was not the first time the commission had sought electoral materials from other countries. Similar arrangements were made with Liberia, Nigeria, and Ghana during past elections. These collaborative efforts align with ECOWAS policy aimed at reducing election costs by exchanging materials with other countries.