The Secretary General of the ruling Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP) Umaru Napoleon Koroma, has reaffirmed his party’s confidence that the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) will hold credible elections come June 24th, 2023.

Koroma made this statement while speaking at a press conference held on Thursday 15th June 2023 at the SLPP headquarters in Freetown.

The press conference was held to respond to allegations made by the main opposition All People’s Congress(APC) party presidential candidate Dr. Samura Kanara on Wednesday 14th June 2023.

Dr. Samura Kamara in his speech issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed K. Konneh, and his regional commissioners to resign, levying a series of allegations and asking for the international community to conduct the polls.

According to the SLPP Secretary General Umaru Napoleon Koroma, such demand by Dr. Kamara was an affront to the sovereignty of the nation, sowing seeds for post-election violence and with a tendency to ignite a constitutional crisis.

He said the APC presidential candidate’s utterances were also in breach of the Commonwealth-supported Peace Pledge Dr. Kamara and President Julius Maada Bio who doubles as the presidential candidate of the SLPP signed recently.

He accused the APC party of subjecting the chief electoral commissioner and staff to tribal profiling, and threats laced with hate messages.

He said the government is surprised at the silence of international partners and Civil Society Organisations.

Koroma described the events of the 12th and 13th of June as botched protests that he claimed were goaded by the opposition and their overseas supporters.

The Chairman of SLPP, Dr. Prince A. Harding told journalists that ever since President Bio was sworn into office five years ago, the APC has refused to accept the outcome of the election and has resorted to using social media and an individual based in Holland going by the name of “Adebayor” to incite people, and citing the 10th August 2022 violent protests which he said virtually led the country to the “brink of war”.

Dr. Harding said the press conference was to rebut what he said were the aggregate of lies bandied by the leadership of the APC.

He said SLPP leaders and supporters have been trying to keep the peace in the face of what he said are attacks of “unimaginable scale” and that there’s a limit to their patience.

He said the contents of the APC press statement were “full of inaccuracies, misinformation, and deliberate lies”, and accused the APC leadership of not once denouncing “Adebayor” for his social media statements.

Dr. Harding said the SLPP has always maintained a peaceful posture and boasts of democratic credentials which he described as unequaled and stressed they will not sit by and allow them to create dissension.

Information and Communications Minister, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, said they will continue to put mechanisms in place that will deal with misinformation which he said is quite a challenge.

The SLPP Press Statement which was later presented noted that “the controvertible statement by the APC presidential candidate was nothing more than a compendium of unsubstantiated claims, conjectures, blatant inaccuracies, and preposterous allegations by a candidate who is apprehensive of an embarrassing defeat at the forthcoming polls”.

The SLPP leadership during the press conference produced a document that listed alleged attacks on their supporters in the first two weeks of the campaign period. They highlighted cases of intimidation, attempted arson, and assault in various parts of the country.