The National Commission for Democracy (NCD) has issued a press statement regarding their observations of the June 24, 2023, Elections.

In their statement, the NCD urges the people of Sierra Leone to maintain calmness during the announcement of the election results by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL). They emphasize the importance of respecting the overall outcomes of the polls and encourage the public to demonstrate the need for tranquility both now and in the days ahead.

The NCD discloses that their headquarters are located in the Western Urban District, with additional Regional Offices in Kenema, Western Rural, Bombali, Portloko, and Bo districts. They deployed staff to these locations to observe the election process, and the observations provided in the statement are based on their findings.

According to their general observations, some polling centers and stations commenced voting at 7 am local time. Although there were instances of delayed start times, mainly due to logistical and procedural reasons, it was noted that the prescribed procedures were strictly followed. The statement highlights the presence of lengthy queues at the observed polling centers and stations, with every eligible voter in the queues by 5 pm local time given the opportunity to cast their vote.

The NCD reports that in most observed polling centers and stations, vote counting began immediately after the polls closed at 5 pm local time. However, in some instances, voting continued beyond the designated time, resulting in counts being conducted late into the night and early hours of Sunday, June 25, 2023. The organization affirms that the counting process was conducted without disruption, with ECSL officials and party agents signing the Reconciliation and Result Forms (RRFS), certified copies being posted on walls, copies issued to party agents, and additional copies retained as Tampered Evidence.

โ€œSome of the polling centers and stations started voting at 7 am, local time, Some of the reasons cited for starting late were mostly logistical and procedural, whether voting started on time or late, it was observed that the laid-down procedures were followed to the letter, there were very long queues in the polling centers and stations observed, every eligible voter that was in the queues by 5 pm, local time, was allowed to vote, in most of the polling centers and stations observed, counting of the votes started immediately after the close of polls at 5 pm, local time, in some polling centers and stations observed, voting went beyond 5 pm, local time, and counting went well into the night and the early hours of Sunday, June 25, 2023, in all the polling centers and stations observed, counting was not disrupted with ECSL officials and party agents signing the Reconciliation and Result Forms (RRFS) with certified copies posted on the walls, copies also issued to the party agents, and copies also placed in Tampered Evidence.โ€

In conclusion, the NCD calls upon everyone to remain calm and patient as the official results from the ECSL are awaited. They emphasize the importance of recognizing the significance of these moments and the time-consuming nature of the election process. The NCD stresses the need for patience and vigilance to safeguard the integrity of the tallying process at the district, regional, and national levels. They assert that upholding professional integrity is crucial for conducting credible, fair, free, peaceful, transparent, and clean elections.