Sierra Leone: Government promises to implement agreement made with the opposition

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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has promised to fully implement a recent agreement reached with the opposition, under international supervision, to overcome tensions exacerbated by his disputed re-election this year.

In a speech given Sunday, cited by Reuters, Bio also stated the need to re-examine the electoral system. Julius Maada, elected for the first time in 2018, was re-elected in June, in the first round, with 56.17% of the votes, according to the results released by the Electoral Commission. However, foreign observers condemned 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), considered that the presidential elections, as well as parliamentary and local elections, were fraudulent and decided to boycott parliament and local councils. The Government and the APC reached an agreement last week under the mediation of the Commonwealth, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The APC has agreed to end its boycott in exchange for an end to arrests and prosecutions that it says are politically motivated. They also agreed to create an inter-party committee to analyze the June elections with the partners involved in mediation. Bio affirmed the need to “put aside differences” and called for “unity and reconciliation”.

The provisions of the agreement “will receive the closest attention from 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 full”. “Reexamining our electoral system is essential to strengthening our democracy,” he added.

Jornal de Angola

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