US Senator for Idaho and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch, urged the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) on Friday, June 30, 2023, to release disaggregated polling station results of the June 24 polls.
“If the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone is an independent body concerned with conducting a free, fair, transparent, and credible election, then it must release disaggregated polling station results for Sierra Leoneans and the world to see,” Senator Risch said.
Risch also urged Bio to encourage the ECSL to release the disaggregated polling station results to clear “looming doubts about the legitimacy of his victory.”
The Republican Senator expressed his concern about Sierra Leone’s electoral process, particularly the “lack of transparency and legitimate concerns of voters, candidates, political parties, observers, and international partners.”
He also expressed dissatisfaction with the harassment, defamation, and targeting of citizen observers in the West African nation.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner of the ECSL announced the incumbent Julius Maada Bio as the winner on Tuesday, with 56 percent, thereby avoiding a runoff with the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party.
Bio was sworn in hours after the result was announced.
The leadership of the main opposition contested the result, stating that it did not reflect the will of the majority of the local population.
APC Parliamentarian Abdul Kargbo hinted that they would take legal action against the ECSL.
Some local and international observers have also noted that the election lacked transparency.