The United States government has said it is concerned about alleged irregularities attributed to the just concluded general elections in Sierra Leone, which it says has called to questions the integrity of the outcome.
A spokesperson for the US States Department, Mathew Miller, issued the statement on Friday evening, noting that the US government was also disturbed by reports of alleged intimidation – including death threats – elections observers, civil society organizations, and personnel of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL).
“Independent parallel vote tabulations and analyses by accredited national and international observation missions raise questions about the integrity of the official results,” Miller said, noting that the resolve and determination of Sierra Leoneans who went out to the polls on June 24 to make their voices heard was inspiring.
According to the statement, the US government expects the Bio administration to institute an independent investigation and to and integrate recommendations from election observers with the goal of improving on the electoral modalities for future elections.
The statement comes a day after parliament was inaugurated amid a boycott by the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), which has vowed not to participate in the governance process of the country until several key demands of it are met. The APC believes the results of the elections – both the presidency and the parliamentary and local council – were rigged.
The State Department in its statement urged the government and political parties to commit to strengthening democratic institutions to better protect the rights and reflect the aspirations of the people, noting that “free and fair elections are essential for any democracy.”
“We call on all actors to exercise restraint and engage in peaceful dialogue to resolve disputes,” it said.