The Chairman of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), Mohamed Konneh has today provided updates on the June 24th multi-tier elections across the country.

Addressing the press and media observers at the Freetown International Conference Center, Commissioner Konneh said that despite some challenges, efforts were made to ensure that everyone in the queues had the opportunity to cast their votes.

Notably, at polling centre code 16148, St. Anns school, and polling centre code 16140 Amaria School, he said voting continued until late evening, with counting conducted in the presence of political agents and observers.

He furthered that the Regional Results Forms (RRFs) are currently being received at the district offices, marking an important step in the electoral process. Some of the received RRFs have been transported to the respective regional tally centres for processing. The remaining RRFs are expected to be transported to the regional tally centres within the next few hours.

The Chief Electoral Commissioner however said that it is unfortunate to report that counting of early voting ballots could not take place in Western Urban, Western Rural, and Bombali districts due to incidents of violence and high tension.

He noted that in Western Rural, a delta police officer stationed at centre code 15012 R.E.C Primary School in Waterloo prevented the counting of early voting, leading to significant tension. The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) will decide on the next steps in response to this incident.

Commissioner Konneh further reported disturbing incidents of violence against ECSL staff and property.

He said in Bombali district, the Elections Coordinator Abdulai Jalloh was beaten along Magburaka Road in Makeni. Likewise, the Office Assistant, Hassan Karim, was seriously injured while delivering supplementary ballots to a polling station in Bombali district. Although the ballots were retrieved intact, the incident highlights the risks faced by ECSL staff.

He added that incidents of violence were reported in Lunsar town, Port Loko district. At Polling Centre code 10271, a Presiding Officer was assaulted while carrying out his duties.

Konneh noted that two Election Coordinators, N’fah A. S Bangura and Alex Sorie, were beaten, and one of their rented vehicles was vandalized.

He added that in Port Loko, Mashiatu Conteh, a female Election Coordinator, sustained serious injuries after being attacked in Kagbathama.

In Koinadugu district, at DEC Primary School Heremakono, a violent altercation resulted in the burning of a hired motorbike. The prompt intervention of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) allowed the counting process to continue. Another incident occurred at DEC Primary School Kamokalia, where ECSL staff were attacked, and the parliamentary ballot box was destroyed.

The Commmissioner further stated that in Tonkolili district, at 7082 Baptist Primary School in Magburaka, the headmaster James Borbor Fullah, who was also the polling centre manager, was assaulted on false allegations of ballot stuffing. He was rescued by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), but a video of the incident has since circulated on social media, further fueling the allegations. Similarly, in Bendugu, Sambaia Bendugu chiefdom, youths poured fuel on Election Coordinator Ibrahim Conteh, intending to set him ablaze, but he was saved by community elders.

As the electoral process continues, tallying has commenced in all regional tally centres since this morning, marking a crucial phase in determining the election results. The nation eagerly awaits the outcome of this historic election and hopes for a peaceful resolution to the remaining challenges.

Stay tuned for more updates on the June 24th multi-tier elections.