As SLPP rejoice, APC accuse U.S. Ambassador Bryan Hunt of preempting the outcome of the Tripartite Electoral investigations


There were frenzied mixed emotions in Sierra Leone and the diaspora yesterday when U.S. Ambassador Brian Hunt seemingly  delivered judgement from the much-banked-on and ongoing Tripartite Committee of national unity and electoral investigations that there will not be a rerun of last year’s stolen June 24 elections, as desperately expected by the opposition All People’s Congress ( APC )

Supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) jubilated their hearts out after the Ambassador voiced out in an interview on 98.1 that it was unrealistic for anybody to expect a rerun , given that the APC  did not go to court to challenge the elections and according to Sierra Leone’s laws and the constitution, only the Supreme Court has the power to annul an election and order a rerun.













As for APC  supporters, a lot of them were shocked as if it was the first time they had heard it and many of them went into a meltdown on social media, blaming the U.S ambassador that he disapppointed their hopes, which had been built on a runoff, despite everything said in the past by the American ambassador and SLPP  members of the Tripartite Committe to the contrary.

Where truth is concerned, the Ambassador’s message—Which he had given before —was clear and unequivocal . During the negotiations for the Tripartite Committee, according to him , nothing was ever mentioned about a rerun. Rather, according to the ambassador, the elections review by the committee was to investigate  the 2023 and past elections to help usher in electoral reforms and accountability measures.

So, the blame cannot be on Ambassador Hunt. He is telling it as he sees it. If anything, the opposition APC  negotiators were the ones who should have ensured that the terms of reference of the committee included a caveat that should it be investigated and discovered that the June 24, 2023 elections were robbed by Maada Bio as all the international elections observers concluded, there should be a rerun. This was not done, but APC  supporters do not want to blame their leaders. Actually, APC  supporters  did start by blaming Dr . Samura Kamara, the lead party investigator  seriously that he sold out but since the day the  former presidential elections flagbearer ,Dr. Samura Kamara came out and defended the committee scope and warned everybody not  to preempt the outcome and that there was even the possibility of early elections, APC  people had hung tenaciously to that assurance and believed that there would be a runoff.

And where truth is concerned also, it is difficult to blame APC  supporters as well for these high expectations because some of the resolutions in the terms of reference, like Resolution 3 and 4 tend to create the impression that the 2023 elections are not done with yet and there was a possibility that after the investigations, the results might not be accepted. And the APC’s hopes were fueled by the extraneous measures the committee has taken to fly in elections experts and even appointing a Kenyan judge to head the elections investigations sector of the committee.

As if all these complications were not enough, some APC  supporters added yet  another dimension to the puzzle yesterday by contending that the U.S. ambassador was right to say there would not be a rerun, because, in reality, when it is proved that an election was one by one of the candidates, the procedure is not a runoff. According to them, the Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Konneh, had started submitting the elections data, as demanded by the committee and that the data showed that Dr. Samura Kamara won the elections, which meant that instead of a rerun, Samura Kamara would be declared a winner and power would be handed over to him. Some APC  supporters even stated with optimism on social media yesterday that Samura Kamara would soon be the President of Sierra Leone.

As for SLPP  supporters, they had a field day ridiculing all these suggestions and cascading optimism by APC  supporters. As far as they are concerned, the 2023 elections are done and dusted and that Maada Bio will remain President of Sierra Leone until 2028.

But then came yet another confusion late yesterday when the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone made the tweet below , which is saying that though a high-powered Sierra Leone delegation  concluded negotiations with the Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) in Washington DC  over the terms for the U.S $500 Compact grant, final MCC and Congressional approval hinged on the report of the Elections Review Committee and the implementation of resulting electoral reforms and accountability measures.


What are the accountability measures ? The statement is subject to many interpretations.

But it is now obvious that this Tripartite Committe will remain shrouded in conflicting expectations  and unanswered questions until the end when the committee will release its recommendations .


 The United States’ position on the ongoing Tripartite investigation and the urgent need for the restoration of democracy in Sierra Leone remains steadfast. Ambassador Brian Hunt, whose interview excerpt on 98.1FM circulated widely on both social and traditional media, further emphasized this stance by releasing a clarifying tweet on their official Twitter page.
“Final MCC and Congressional approval of this transformational investment in Sierra Leone’s energy sector now hinges on the report of the Electoral Review Committee and the implementation of resulting electoral reforms and accountability measures.”
Electoral accountability involves transparency in the electoral process, including fair and free elections, accurate counting of votes, and mechanisms for addressing electoral fraud or irregularities.
Ultimately, electoral accountability is a fundamental aspect of democracy, ensuring that elected representatives remain responsive to the needs and preferences of the citizens they serve.

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