Sierra Leone’s ruling party claims victory

Sierra Leone’s political landscape has been shaken by the outcome of the June 24 legislative elections, with the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) emerging as the victor in a highly contested race. The electoral commission’s chairman, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, announced on Saturday, July 1st, that the SLPP had secured 81 seats, while the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) won 54 seats.

However, the APC swiftly rejected the results, refusing to participate in any form of governance and citing “glaring irregularities” in the electoral process. They accused the electoral commission of colluding with the SLPP to manipulate the results and called for the resignation of the commission’s chairman.

Despite the SLPP’s success, Freetown mayor Aki-Sawyerr, a prominent opposition figure, retained control of the strategic mayorship. The APC demanded a re-run of the presidential polls after incumbent President Julius Maada Bio was declared the winner and inaugurated for a second term.

International pressure is mounting on the electoral commission to ensure transparency in the tabulation process and release results from each polling station. While regional observers, including the African Union and ECOWAS, deemed the elections free and fair, other observers expressed concerns about the lack of transparency in the counting and tabulation procedures. Countries such as the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France have called for increased transparency and accountability.

The APC’s statement highlighted the gravity of the situation, proclaiming that the announcement of fraudulent election results on June 25 not only undermined the democratic process but also posed a significant threat to the nation’s unity and survival.

Sierra Leone now faces a challenging political climate as the opposition continues to contest the results and demand electoral reforms. The nation’s stability and future direction hang in the balance as the unfolding political developments unfold in the days ahead.

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