Sierra Leone’s Former President, Ernest Bai Koroma in his first address to parliament after the 2012 general Elections spoke on the need for dialogue rather than boycotting governance.

In 2012, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) which was the main opposition party at that time said it would boycott parliament to protest against alleged fraud in an election that handed incumbent president Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC) a second term.

In 2023, the All People’s Congress (APC) who are now in the opposition made a similar decision to boycott governance over suspicion of electoral malpractice, accusing the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) of manipulating the 2023 presidential election results in favor of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

While addressing Parliament after his 2012 presidential election victory, Koroma said that “dialogue is better than boycotting and if you boycott, the people will boycott you”.

He stated that during his last message to the previous parliament, he warned them of a boycott but returned to the next parliament without seeing the opposition parliamentarians whom he addressed as his “friends” asking that if their people have boycotted them.

He noted that he hoped the opposition will realize boycotting days are over as dialogue is the only option.

He continued that the 2012 elections were the most transparent election in the country’s history with over ten thousand national and international election observers with four different elections conducted on the same day.

He said the election process unto the announcement of results was acclaimed as meeting international standards of free and fair elections, adding that Sierra Leoneans should congratulate themselves and the state institutions for their immense contribution to such achievement which he said is a national victory.