The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) has issued a press release, acknowledging the successful completion of the June 24th multi-tier Elections and addressing various concerns raised in the aftermath of the polls.
Firstly, the ECSL expressed gratitude to all Sierra Leoneans for their peaceful participation in the electoral process, which saw a significant voter turnout across the country.
The Commission also extended appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for fulfilling its financial responsibilities, covering over 90% of the election costs. Development partners were also acknowledged for their contributions to the multilateral partners’ fund, supporting civil society organizations and voter education initiatives.
The ECSL emphasized its commitment to transparency and adherence to the law. Accredited Observer Missions were invited to observe the elections, and their final reports are being awaited. While considering the recommendations from these missions, the Commission clarified that it would only act within the boundaries of Sierra Leone’s laws and best practices.
The Electoral Commission firmly maintained that the declared election results reflected the genuine will of the voters, dismissing claims of external influence or coercion on the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Commissioners, or staff. False claims on social media were labeled as malicious and harmful to the country’s democracy.
Despite the generally peaceful conduct of the elections, the ECSL acknowledged the existence of some technical challenges and capacity issues during the process.
The Commission assured the public that it would conduct a thorough review and take steps to strengthen the institution and enhance its responsiveness.
Managing a complex electoral process with over 90,000 personnel and 11,000 stations is no small feat, and the ECSL commended its staff and contract workers for their dedication to ensuring credible election results.
The ECSL encouraged political parties, partners, and citizens to use appropriate and legal channels for addressing any issues or concerns they may have, further demonstrating its commitment to maintaining a fair and transparent electoral system.
In conclusion, the ECSL expressed pride in its service to Sierra Leone and regarded the 2023 elections as one of the most credible, inclusive, and transparent since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the country. The Commission extended gratitude to all partners who collaborated in achieving this significant milestone for Sierra Leone’s democracy.