The United States Embassy in Freetown has refused to comment on the allegations leveled against it by President Julius Maada Bio on the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Sierra Leone.
On Friday, Bio accused US officials of calling him and requested that he halt the scheduled announcement of the results and asked that the elections go into a second round.
“The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) had done all their calculations, collations, all the processes. I was now requested to stop them from calling the result by the United States. So, I don’t know who is accusing who of interference,” Bio said in an interview conducted at an event at the American University in Washington on Friday.
The US had expressed concerns regarding the transparency of the election procedures, particularly during the tallying phase.
In Freetown, the US Mission and representatives from the European Union, France, Ireland, and Germany jointly voiced their concerns over the transparency of the vote-counting process. The ECSL, however, maintained that the announced results on June 27 genuinely represented the wishes of the Sierra Leonean electorate. They emphasized that they operated strictly within the nation’s electoral laws.
In his statement, President Bio added that the US questioning the integrity of the 2023 elections was akin to endorsing a coup. He stated, “When the United States casts doubt on an election that was considered the most peaceful, not my words, but the observers… you are calling for a coup,”
When contacted to speak on the allegations leveled by Bio, Sarah Van Horne, the Public Affairs Officer of United States Embassy in Freetown refused to give a response adding that the Embassy doesn’t comment on private diplomatic conversations.
It would be recalled that Bryan Hunt, the new U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone presented his credentials of President Julius Maada Bio at the State House in Freetown on Monday. He replaced David Reimer who held the position since January 19, 2021.