AYV News, October 13, 2023
Vice President of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has condemned the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission’s Final Report on the Sierra Leone General Elections 2023.
V.P Juldeh tweeted: “This morning, I received the EU Election Observation Mission’s Final Report on the Sierra Leone General Elections 2023. I shared with the Chief Observer and her team my initial thoughts on the report.
“In my view, the Report is skewed more towards a political understanding of the elections rather than a technical understanding. The expectation of this report is for it to be technically sound in order to help improve future elections through identifying key institutional, legal and operational lapses.
“However, it is filled with normative assertions and very limited electoral analysis. The myriad of inconsistencies and lack of clear evidence risk undermining the quality of the report. How do you interpret assertions such as “divisive online communication… created insecurity for rural voters”?
“How do you explain the technical value of the report when four out of the seven priority recommendations are political in nature? With my previous experience and knowledge in the organisation of elections in Africa and Europe, I have had the opportunity to work closely with several institutions, including the EU.
“I believe that EU Election Observers Mission can do better, particularly in producing high quality reports that are rooted in sound technical and analytical understanding of elections. We thank the EU Election Observation Mission for their efforts, and I look forward to continuing our engagement with the European Union to strengthen the electoral system in Sierra Leone”.
The Report was also handed over to President Dr. Julius Maada Bio by the EU-EOM Chief Observer Evin Incir, who is also a Member of the European Parliament from Sweden, accompanied by the Head of the European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone – Ambassador Manuel Müller.
Delivering the report, the Chief Observer said: “We look forward to building on the cooperation. The main focus of the report is to address issues of transparency and accountability in the electoral processes.”
In response, President Bio said: “I had the same issues as a Presidential Candidate in 2012 but I went to court after the elections. In 2007, the Electoral Commission, cancelled ballot boxes and announced the result when it did not have the mandate by law to do so.
“We always have had challenges, but we take pride in dealing with the problems in the 1991 Constitution, which we are reviewing now with the support of our development partners. It is a consultative process and we hope to see the opposition parties participate fully.
“I am pleased to inform you that the post-election dialogue will start soon, and the Constitutional Review Process will be part of the discussions. Therefore, this report comes in handy to be part of the review process and the recommendations might be considered to address outstanding issues. Thank you once again.”
“The EU EOM offered 21 recommendations for improving the way elections are organised, managed and conducted and for upholding regional and international commitments.