Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Former President Koroma urges foreign peace builders to pay close attention to Sierra Leone’s democracy amidst election tensions

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The former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has called on foreign democratic and peace-building institutions to pay close attention to Sierra Leone’s democracy amidst an increase in reports of election violence and irregularities.

Just a few days before the main opposition APC party demanded the resignation of the chief electoral commissioner, who later on stated that he will not resign, the party reported a series of attacks and physical assaults by the state forces when on the campaign trail in different parts of the country. This, according to the party, is jeopardizing the country’s democracy, and making the upcoming elections questionable.

Through a press statement issued on June 17, 2023, former President Koroma, said that the international community needs to be aware of what is going on in his country and take action to help maintain the peace and democracy that he believes the country has been enjoying throughout his double term in office. 

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“I am calling on all champions and defenders of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and peacebuilding; especially the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, ECOWAS, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Nigeria, Guinea and Ghana, to pay close attention to Sierra Leone. You should make your voices heard in the protection of peace, democracy, and the rule of law in our beloved nation,” said Dr. Koroma. 

Dr. Koroma who was the leader of the ECOWAS Election Observers Mission in Nigeria’s General Elections in February further urged civil society, including faith-based organizations and the media, to maintain a non-partisan position, and be more vigilant and proactive in de-escalating the political tension. He also believes that the country’s democracy has been put on the line by recent events, and further asks that the electoral body, security forces and the judiciary put the country first in carrying out their constitutional duties and ensure to win the trust of their fellow citizens.

“You have a duty to ensure that your conduct strengthens the confidence and trust of the people in the sensitive jobs you are privileged to perform for our beloved nation. This is a crucial period in our country’s history, and the safety and security of our people is in your hands,” Dr. Koroma added.

Dr. Koroma since leaving office has been supporting the noble efforts of institutions such as the African Union, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Elders Forum and the Brenthurst Foundation, in the quest to promote peace and democratic transitions across Africa. He served as the president of the Republic of Sierra Leone for two successive terms (2007-2018) and he is still regarded as one of the most respected and most loved ex-presidents in Africa.

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