Sierra Leone: President pledges to enforce agreement with opposition

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has pledged to fully implement an internationally-brokered agreement with the opposition to overcome tensions exacerbated by his disputed re-election. He also affirmed the need to review the electoral system.
Julius Maada, first elected in 2018, was re-elected in June 2023 in the first round, with 56.17% of the vote according to results published by the Electoral commission. However, foreign observers denounced inconsistencies and a lack of transparency in the count, as well as acts of violence and intimidation.
The main opposition party, the All People’s Congress Party (APC), deemed the presidential, as well as legislative and local, elections rigged, and decided to boycott parliament and local councils.
Last week, the government and the APC reached an agreement under the mediation of the Commonwealth, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The APC agreed to end its boycott in exchange for an end to politically-motivated detentions and court cases.
They also agreed to set up an inter-party committee to review the June elections with the partners involved in the mediation. On Tuesday October 24 evening, Mr. Bio affirmed the need to “put aside (differences)”, and called for “unity and reconciliation”.
The provisions of the agreement “will be given the highest attention by my government”, he said. “The government will work with the main opposition party and all other political parties to ensure that it (the agreement) is implemented in its entirety”. “Re-examining our electoral system is essential to strengthen our democracy”, he added.