The Economic Community of West African States have congratulated President Julius Maada Bio for his re-election as president of Sierra Leone.
The ECOWAS leaders singled out Bio, alongside his Nigerian counterpart Bola Ahmed Tinubu for praises for their electoral successes, as stated in the final communique of the bloc’s just concluded 63rd heads of state and government summit in Guinea Bissau.
The summit held on Sunday focused on democracy, security and economic growth of the sub region. The West African leaders praised “steady progress” realized in the consolidation of democracy through the holding of regular elections.
“The Authority notes the steady progress made in consolidating democracy in the region through regular conduct of transparent, inclusive, peaceful and credible electoral processes,” the communique signed by Guinea Bissau President and former ECOWAS chairman Umaro sissoco Embalo, states.
A total of 11 heads of state and one vice president who attended the summit. Also in attendance was the African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simao.
This apparent endorsement of his re-election by fellow West African leaders is a major boost for President Bio, who is under pressure at home over allegations of failing to conduct a transparent electoral process.
Western observers, particularly the European Union Elections Observation Mission, accused the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone of failing to ensure transparency in the vote counting process. And the main opposition All People’s Congress has vowed not to participate in the governance process as a show of protest.
The West African leaders also praised Nigeria for its elections, another process discredited by western observers.
Nigerian President, Tinubu was elected chairman of the Authority of heads of state of ECOWAS at the Summit, and he has promised to use his term to consolidate democracy.