In Sierra Leone, the State House is gripped by anxiety as the forthcoming European Union 2023 election report looms.
The United States has openly cast doubts on the election’s legitimacy, even imposing travel bans on those suspected of election fraud.
Both the U.S. and international organizations are pressing the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) to disclose detailed election results by polling stations, a request that ECSL has yet to address, sparking international concern. During his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President Bio accused the U.S. of meddling by requesting a delay in announcing the election results, straining diplomatic relations.
These allegations have placed President Bio in a precarious global position, with some nations withholding financial support until transparent results emerge. Amid the ongoing election dispute, Sierra Leonean citizens are urging the international community to hold election manipulators accountable, likening their actions to coup attempts.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and other local organizations, including the National Elections Watch (NEW), all contest the election’s credibility, asserting it doesn’t reflect the people’s will. Opposition members claim that their party representatives were obstructed from participating in the election, particularly in the South-East regions, denying them access to accurate polling center information.
International observers highlight irregularities and inconsistencies in the vote tabulation process, painting a picture of an election outcome that doesn’t align with the desires of Sierra Leoneans, who are grappling with hunger amid this turmoil.
Despite the serious allegations against ECSL and the government, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government is reportedly anxious about the impending EU report. Speculation suggests that the EU’s report might recommend a rerun of the election, as the June 24th results could undermine democracy if not rectified.
Citizens stress the importance of holding election manipulators accountable, equating them to coup plotters, a grave offense that should not escape scrutiny by the EU, UK, US, and ECOWAS, as it threatens civilian rule.