Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a press briefing held on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Kelfala Marrah, a representative of the Opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) in the Electoral Reform Committee, highlighted the ongoing challenges in the implementation of Resolution 4.
Despite acknowledging initial progress in the overall agreement, Marrah emphasized that significant obstacles persist, particularly under Resolution 4. This disclosure occurred in the presence of the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Resolution 4 addresses critical issues such as the release of arrested and detained individuals, discontinuation of politically motivated cases, support for the resettlement of internally and externally displaced persons, and the payment of backlog emoluments to elected officials.
Marrah noted that, although progress has been made, the establishment of the Committee of Moral Guarantors is yet to be realized. However, he assured the audience that engagement with the international community and partners has been effective.
The APC representative shed light on the controversial aftermath of the June 24, 2023 multi-tier elections, marked by a standoff between the APC and the Sierra Leone Government. Issues included a lack of transparency in the tallying process and the Electoral Commission’s refusal to publish results, preventing independent verification.
Due to these concerns, Marrah explained that the APC chose not to participate in governance until its demands on result publication were met. With the intervention of the ECOWAS mediation team, an agreement was reached, leading to progress in some areas but leaving major issues unresolved.
The APC continues to rely on the cooperation of the Government, political will, and technical support from partners to address the outstanding resolutions. Recently, the APC presented a plan of action to the Government for accelerated coordination, monitoring, and real-time reporting on the Agreement through a dedicated online platform.
Marrah informed the UN Permanent Representative to the UN that progress has been made in the implementation of Resolution 3, involving the review of the 2023 elections and previous elections. He expressed hope for continued positive collaboration in the remaining five months of the Committee’s work.
The APC representative outlined the terms of reference (ToR) guiding the Committee’s examination, covering elections results management, certification and publication procedures, electoral laws and regulations, and assessments of key elections management bodies. He emphasized the sacred responsibility of clearing doubts surrounding the compromised 2023 elections and pledged the APC’s commitment to a thorough and cooperative process with the Government and development partners. AMK/26/1/2024