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Sierra Leone: President commits to mending fences with opposition

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has committed to placating the opposition to overcome tensions exacerbated by his re-election under contested conditions. He also conceded to the need to review the electoral system.

The Sierra Leonean elections has been reminiscent of most elections in Africa where the incumbent holds all the aces and wields ultimate power using the perphenalia of office to advantage.

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 published by the electoral commission. Foreign observers, however, 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 (APC ) boycotted the parliament and local council elections after considering presidential, legislative and local council elections rigged.

The government in a bid to end post election conflict and quel political tensions from escalating has had to make efforts to reach out to the main opposition APC by reaching an agreement mediated by the commonwealth, African Union (AU) and Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS).

They also agreed to set up an inter-party committee responsible for reviewing the June elections with the partners involved in the mediation. It is hoped that the stakeholders will arrive at solutions and the political will to implement them to avoid a recurrence.

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