In a press release issued today, the Native Consortium and Research Center called on President Julius Maada Bio to prioritize bread and butter issues and focus on the nation’s development.
The organization extended their congratulations to President Bio and his Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP) for their victory in the June 24th, 2023 elections.
Describing the election as largely free and fair, with only minor glitches, the Consortium announced their intention to publish a comprehensive report and recommendations for the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) within two weeks. They emphasized their commitment to monitoring the post-election progress.
The Consortium expressed gratitude towards the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for providing funding for the training process leading up to and during the election.
Highlighting President Bio’s re-election as a win for all Sierra Leoneans, the Consortium also acknowledged the peaceful manner in which citizens exercised their right to vote. They urged the ECSL to expedite the announcement of the Mayoral, Chairperson, and Local Council Results, as the nation eagerly awaits the formation of its sixth parliament.
While addressing concerns raised by the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party, the Consortium emphasized the need for addressing those concerns through legitimate means available within the confines of Sierra Leone’s laws.
The press release underscored the significance of local and international observers in evaluating the fairness and transparency of elections. However, it stressed the importance of respecting national institutions, roles, and responsibilities without undermining the constitutional bodies responsible for managing elections in Sierra Leone.
Regarding the National Election Watch (NEW) and its role as a civil society organization, the Consortium called on them not to exceed their mandate in a way that could incite violence or negatively influence public perception of the constitutionally authorized election body.
They urged NEW to provide their Pre-Verification Results Transmission System (PVRTS) and all available data to verify their projections and protect their reputation.
In conclusion, the Native Consortium and Research Center urged citizens to prioritize national development and called on the central government to address the high cost of living, combat currency depreciation, reduce telecommunications tariffs, implement price controls, and make hunger and food scarcity central issues, similar to President Bio’s focus on free education during his first term.