COCORIOKO has reliably learnt that the former presidential candidate of the defeated Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) , Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, has been warned strongly by the international community that he will be held accountable if his refusal to accept the results of the 2012 polls lead to lawless acts by his supporters that would create post-elections violence in Sierra Leone.
COCORIOKO was reliably informed that the diplomatic corps in Sierra Leone and the international community advised Maada Bio to take his dispute to the court of law as provided for by s55 of the Public Elections Act 2012 , if he had problems with the results . However, Bio has been strongly warned to rein in his supporters and advice them against any lawless acts that have the potential to lead to chaos . If his supporters create any bedlam in Sierra Leone that results in loss of lives and damage to private and public property , Mr. Bio will be held accountable, he was told in unequivocal terms.
MAADA BIO : UNDER INTERNATIONAL WATCH
It was reliably learnt by this newspaper that since the results were announced after international observers and local monitoring organizations declared that the November 17 elections were free, fair and credible , members of the diplomatic corps and international stakeholders called on Bio to accept the results in the interest of peace and tranquility . The argument of the diplomats was that the irrgularities were very few and isolated and could not have influenced the final result of the elections. They further told him that elections all the world were not immune from isolated cases of iregularities and problems but the as long as they do not impact on the final result, losing candidates overlook them and hope for better results next time. At one point, we learnt , Bio assured them that he will give their advice a thought but then came back a week later to say he was not accepting the results and the National Executive Council of the SLPP would be meeting on Tuesday November to decide the next course of action. That was when Bio set off red flags that forced the international community and diplomats to deliver him their warning.
The futility of Maada Bio’s case could be inferred from the result of the Special Session the UN Security Council held last Friday on the agenda item: THE SITUATION IN SIERRA LEONE. During the session, the Security Council acknowledged that it had received a report on the conduct of the elections in Sierra Leone from the ERSG , Mr. Jens Anders Toyberg Frandzen as well as positive reports from observers and the Council called on political parties to accept the results and work with the Government of Sierra Leone “in a constructive manner through national dialogue and reconciliation.” A diplomatic source said that the Security Council would not have made such a call if it was satisfied that the elections were not free and fair.
The diplomat who gave Cocorioko the information that Bio had been warned told this paper anonymously that the international community was satisfied with the conduct of the elections in Sierra Leone and expressed delight that there is now optimism in the international community that Sierra Leone will forge ahead to attract more external investment and make optimum use of her abundant mineral resources to improve her revenue base and create wealth for her citizens. He however stressed the dire necessity for peace , which he feared could be threatened by Bio’s stubbornness to accept defeat.
It has also been disclosed that representatives of the International Criminal Court ( ICC ) are still in Sierra Leone monitoring post-elections events.
It was learnt over the weekend that Bio has filed a case in the Supreme Court against the validity of the elections. While this opportunity is provided every citizen of the country by the elections laws , what is of concern to stakeholders is what Bio and supporters could do next if the Supreme Court throws out the case. The diplomat who spoke to Cocorioko advised Bio to tread with care as the international community was tired of pouring millions of dollars into African countries to help quell chaos and promote peace and tranquility. Sierra Leone, he said, remained a special case with the international community and having come this far to stabilize the country and help her build and strengthen democratic, economic and social institutions after the 11-year destructive war, stakeholders will do whatever it takes to make sure that there are no more political upheavals in the country.