November Elections Will Be Free, Fair And Non-Violent

Just five years ago, the People of Sierra Leone went to the polls and placed their confidence in the then opposition party, electing its flag-bearer as the President. The elections were followed by a smooth transition of power from an incumbent in power for 11 years to a party in opposition for 15 years. Given that the country was emerging from an era of political and civil crises, the International Community was truly inspired by the ability of the people of Sierra Leone to rise above past challenges.

On November 17th this year, the mandate of the people will be sought for the third time since. This time around, His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC) will be seeking re-election and challenged by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) contender, Brig. (retired) Julius Maada Bio and possibly, other presidential candidates yet to announce their bids.

The people of Sierra Leone have no doubt that they will replicate the success of free, fair and transparent elections, which was the hallmark of the last elections which so deservedly earned the praise and respect of the world. The Government of Sierra Leone has taken further measures to ensure that the upcoming Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections in November will be free, fair credible and violence free.

Although we have enjoyed successive laudable outcomes in conducting our elections, we continue to build on our democratic gains and strengthen our democratic institutions. Earlier this year, the Electoral Offences Court was established in accordance with the laws of Sierra Leone, further reinforcing the electoral system. Biometric system of registration was introduced during the registration exercise concluded earlier in preparations for the upcoming elections, which solidified measures to ensure smooth and transparent exercise of voter franchise. The quick responsiveness and efficiency of the system puts doubts to rest as suspected fraudulent registration cases are being netted and investigated by the Police and several already charged to court.

The Nation of Sierra Leonean is proud of its democratic achievements and is equally proud of its highly acclaimed record of organizing internationally monitored free, fair and transparent elections as part of its democratic processes and is also very keen to maintain its duty to its citizenry and to the rest of the world.

We place great faith in our political institutions and reassure our commitment to good governance and respect for the rule of law and we ask all friends of Sierra Leone to share in our collective vision for a peaceful and prosperous democracy worthy of emulation.

Bockari K Stevens

Ambassador to the United States of America