APPA Commends ECSL for Successful Elections as Konneh Addresses Challenges & Misinformation

By Alpha Good Kamara

During a Press Conference held at the Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL) Head Office on Tower Hill on the 24th July, 2023 members of the All Political Parties Association (APPA) warmly congratulated the Chief Electoral Commissioner, the Board and Staff of the Commission for the successful conduct of the June 24, 2023 multi-tier elections across the country.

Chairman of the All Political Parties’ Association (APPA), Prince Coker, who led the APPA delegation, acknowledged that while all political parties participated to win the elections and there were challenges, however, they ultimately accepted the results and praised the credibility of the electoral process overseen by the Chairman/ Chief Electoral Commissioner of ECSL, Mohamed Konneh.

He stated how a leveled -playing field was made available to all political parties, during the electioneering period, adding that the security measures put in place also ensured the safety of opposition candidates as polling was ongoing.

He said though all of them contested in the elections with the avowed aim of emerging victorious but at the end of the day some of them lost further underscoring that based on the assessment of the elections outcome they were indeed very satisfied with the electoral process as conducted by ECSL, adding that he, in particular, was satisfied with the way and manner in which the ECSL’s Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Konneh, conducted the elections.

He made mention of  how they were in attendance of all Political Parties Liaison Committee  (PPLC)  meetings and were part of all decisions taken at those meetings stressing that they all agreed and disagreed objectively.

The Chairman reiterated that the entire electoral process was conducted freely, fairly and was credibly adding that during voting day all political parties deployed party agents and security was provided for all Presidential aspirants and their running mates.

He said they believe that power comes from the Almighty God saying ECSL should be congratulated even though he laments that they could not secure any Parliamentary Seat adding how they have learnt lessons under the Proportional Representation System.

The Chief Electoral Commissioner, Chairman and National Returning Officer, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, on his part, expressed appreciation to Sierra Leoneans for conducting themselves peacefully during the multi-tier elections further thanking the Government for funding over 90% of the election. He also commended development partners for their various contributions in supporting Civil Society Organizations and voter education efforts which according to him resulted in the large voter turnout.

He acknowledged the delay in the payment of polling staff  which he attributed to administrative and documentary information requested for by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is funding the payment but assured that all necessary documents have been submitted expressing optimism that payment will be finalized by the end of the week.

Addressing misinformation that is circulating on Social Media, Mohamed Konneh revealed that neither the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Commissioners, nor Staff of the ECSL were subjected to duress by the incumbent  President or any Government Official maintaining that such misinformation has the propensity of  threatening the peace in this post-election period.

He told the audience that ECSL will look at the final recommendations that will be submitted by accredited Observer Missions saying they may help to improve future electoral processes asserting how all their actions were guided by national laws and best practices.

The Chief Electoral Commissioner also acknowledged the occurrence of technical challenges and capacity issues during the electioneering process committing that ECSL will review and strengthen its stance to be more responsive and robust.

“Managing over 90,000 personnel and more than 11,000 stations, the ECSL expresses pride in delivering one of the most credible, inclusive, transparent, and peaceful elections since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in Sierra Leone,” Mohamed Konneh adding that the Commission is grateful to all partners who collaborated to ensure the successful outcome of the elections.

He said the Commission wishes to thank and appreciate the great work done by all polling staff amidst high level intimidation and sometimes threat to their safety.

According to him, in line with Section 164 of the Public Elections Act, 2022, the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) accredited several Observer Missions to observe the June 24th General Elections which have been widely acclaimed as one of the most peaceful elections held in Africa.

He maintained that whilst the ECSL awaits the final reports of the various accredited Observer Missions, they note the repetitive calls, mostly indirectly, from some quarters urging the ECSL to take actions that do not fall under the Laws of Sierra Leone.

The Electoral Boss highlighted that the Commission will consider the recommendations of the Observer Missions that will add value to the electioneering processes assuring all that it will continue to be guided by extant laws, best practices and precedents in all its actions.

“All such actions of the ECSL prior to, during and in these post-elections period have been strictly guided by national statutes and local and international best practices,” he reiterated stressing how the ECSL maintains that the declared results of the June 24th elections reflect the expressed will of the voters.

The ECSL would like to inform the public that at no point in time was the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Commissioners and Staff of the ECSL placed under duress by His Excellency the President or any Government Official.

He said they will continue to avail themselves to all political parties, partners and citizens and should any party have issues or concerns, they recommend that they use the appropriate and legal channels in seeking redress.

Both the APPA and ECSL ended up reaffirming their commitment to maintain and deepen democratic values as well as continue to work together in the best interest of the masses.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here