By: Ilyasa Baa 

A delegation from the Commonwealth is landing at the Freetown International Airport today Wednesday 6th September to have a two days meeting with the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) and the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Government over the current political tension in the country since the announcement of the 2023 Presidential election result. 

The proposed meeting is expected to be held in Freetown on Thursday and Friday to chat the way forward in solving the issue as the APC stood its grounds still calling on the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) to release the disaggregated data of the results tallied by the Commission. 

An insider within the APC intimated us that they are not taking interviews for now till after the meeting adding that they are waiting to see what the engagement  with the Commonwealth entourage will bring. 

It could be recalled that the Commonwealth Observer Group in Sierra Leone had welcomed the large turn-out of voters for the country’s multi-tier elections held on 24th June, and found that polling day was generally peaceful, despite heightened tensions during the week.

 The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, H.E. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had said:

“We were impressed by the significant turn-out of voters and the largely peaceful conduct of the  elections – a testimony to the will of the people to consolidate the democratic gains of Sierra Leone. It was observed that election actors conducted themselves as expected on Election Day.”

However, the Observer Group highlighted key logistical challenges, such as the late delivery of election materials to polling centres and the delayed opening of polling stations. 

They highlighted that there were some cases of inadequate public communication from the Electoral Commission, gaps in levels of transparency and a deficit in public trust in the Electoral Commission and other key state institutions, such as the judiciary.

The Group noted isolated incidents of skirmishes, police arrests and attacks on polling officials and political party agents and that a confrontation between security services and the opposition party on the day after elections had further flared political tensions. 

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