The Security Sector in Sierra Leone has expressed grave concerns regarding the recent publication of parallel election results and its potential implications for national security.
According to Section 93 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991, the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) is the sole state organ authorized by law to proclaim election results in the country.
The Security Sector has taken notice of the National Elections Watch (NEW), a coalition of civil society organizations accredited by the ECSL to observe national elections, and their publication of parallel presidential election results.
The Security Sector wants to emphasize to the general public, as well as international observers and development partners, that these actions by NEW violate the constitutional provision mentioned above and could lead to unfavorable consequences.
Furthermore, the Security Sector expresses disappointment in the fact that certain development partners have mistakenly regarded the publication by NEW as authentic. The joint press statement issued by six development partners, highlighting the “lack of transparency in the election results tabulation process,” also goes against the relevant sections of the national constitution that grant sole responsibility to the ECSL for announcing election results.
The Security Sector believes that such public pronouncements, as made by NEW and echoed by development partners, have the potential to incite undue tension in the country. It is worth noting that the recently conducted presidential election in Sierra Leone was overwhelmingly peaceful and has received widespread acclaim both domestically and internationally.
In light of these concerns, the Security Sector recommends that development partners engage directly with the Elections Management Bodies, including the ECSL. They play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity and transparency of the election process.
The Security Sector commends development partners and international observers for reminding citizens about the importance of due process in addressing post-election concerns. Through the Office of National Security (ONS), the Security Sector continues to closely monitor the election process and urges the general public to remain calm, carry on with their normal activities, and cooperate with the Security Sector.