Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Carter Center continues to question the credibility of Sierra Leone election results


In a press statement released on Friday, July 21, 2023, the Carter Center has once again expressed doubt regarding the credibility of Sierra Leone election results, announced by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL).

The international non-profit organization, which has been active in Sierra Leone since 2002, raised concerns about the significant disparities observed in the final results of parliamentary, mayoral, and local government elections compared to the results of the presidential race. This has raised suspicions about the accuracy of the tabulation process and the overall legitimacy of the June 24 election results.

“Comparing the ECSL’s data for the parliamentary elections with the presidential results, there are differences in turnout and in votes for key parties in many districts. These variances raise further questions about the credibility of the election results,” said Carter Center.

The credibility of the electoral process has been under scrutiny since the release of the presidential election results. The main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party, along with observer groups like the National Election Watch (NEW) and the European Union (EU), have also questioned the validity of the electoral process.

The Carter Center highlighted the Process and Results Verification for Transparency (PRVT) exercise conducted by the National Election Watch, which reflects their own observations made at the five tabulation centres. While acknowledging the professionalism of the PRVT, the Carter Center remains concerned about the credibility of the presidential results.

To ensure transparency and trust in the entire electoral process, the Carter Center has called on the ECSL to release results by polling stations. This would allow for cross-verification of the data recorded by party agents and observers on election day. Other observer missions have also made similar demands.

The Carter Center suggested that in cases where discrepancies exist between the results announced by ECSL and those recorded by party agents and observers, reviews of ballot box seals and recounts should be conducted to reaffirm the credibility of the ECSL’s announced results.

Furthermore, the organization urged for the publication of the original Reconciliation & Result Forms, which the ECSL retains. This move could contribute to establishing the credibility of the election results. Additionally, the Carter Center emphasized the importance of respecting election observers and providing them with the necessary support to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

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