In an Exclusive interview with Sierraeye Magazine, Dr. Samura Kamara, the main opposition party candidate in Sierra Leone’s upcoming presidential elections, expressed concerns about the trustworthiness of the country’s election management bodies, particularly the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL).

Kamara emphasized the need for transparency and verification to inspire trust and confidence among the electorate.

Referring to the famous quote by an American statesman, Dr. Kamara stated, “Trust but verify.” He highlighted that trust is directly proportional to the level of verifications conducted.

The opposition candidate specifically mentioned several areas where he sought verifications, including the voter ID cards, recruitment of elections staff, and the publication of a disaggregated voter register.

However, the ECSL has not been forthcoming in providing the necessary information, which has undermined trust and confidence in the commission.

Dr. Kamara expressed disappointment in the Commission’s dismissive and unresponsive attitude towards the concerns raised by the opposition party. He asserted that trust cannot be generated in a vacuum; it requires deliberate actions and open communication.

Despite the obstacles faced, Dr. Kamara reassured the public that his party remains committed to the electoral process, and they will remain vigilant to ensure the people’s mandate is not stolen.

Sierraeye, the news outlet conducting the interview, questioned Dr. Kamara about his willingness to accept the election results and congratulate the winner if he does not emerge victorious. In response, Dr. Kamara stated that while the question was hypothetical, he firmly believed that the outcome of free, fair, peaceful, inclusive, and credible elections would be acceptable to everyone.

He expressed confidence in his own candidacy but maintained that if the will of the people is genuinely reflected in an outcome favoring his opponent, he would accept the decision and congratulate the winner.

The opposition candidate emphasized the importance of a peaceful transition of power and urged his opponents to adopt a similar stance. Dr. Kamara expects his opponents to acknowledge the people’s genuine mandate and congratulate him if he emerges as the winner. By doing so, he emphasized the need to uphold democratic principles and ensure a smooth and inclusive electoral process.

As the June 24 presidential elections draw closer in Sierra Leone, Dr. Samura Kamara’s remarks regarding the trustworthiness of the Electoral Commission have sparked a debate on the transparency and credibility of the electoral process. With the opposition party remaining watchful and determined to protect the what they refer to as the people’s mandate, the country eagerly awaits the outcome of the elections, hoping for a free and fair process that reflects the will of the Sierra Leonean people.