Claim: The Government of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy in Freetown will not endorse the recently announced presidential poll results that declared the incumbent president of Sierra Leone the winner of the June 24 2023, polls.
Verdict: False. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the GoUSA has issued any statement discrediting the results of June 24, 2023, presidential polls announced by the country’s electoral body Chief Commissioner.
Sierra Leone – a small State located in West Africa, held its sixth democratic multi-tier elections on Saturday, June 24 2023, in which 13 political parties contested for the highest seat in the country.
The incumbent President Julius Maada Wonnie Bio of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), was declared ‘winner’ of the controversial polls. The country’s National Returning Officer, Mr Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, announced Dr Bio winner of the election. He defeated his closest contender for the second time, securing 56.17 per cent leaving the main opposition party’s leader – Dr Samuara Kamara, who secured 41.16 % of the votes.
What happened after the announcement of the presidential results?
On the contrary, congratulatory messages from opposition political parties in the country have not been forthcoming; even the main party in the political race, the All People’s Congress (APC) party, has denounced President Bio’s re-election tagging it as a “stolen victory.”
However, the former Interim Chairman of the APC Transitional Committee, Alfred Peter Conteh, congratulated the re-elected incumbent, President Bio.
Hours after the announcement of the election’s results by the Chief Commissioner of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), “Jeffrey Smith @Smith_JeffreyT” tweeted that the Government of the United States of America and its Embassy in Freetown had not endorsed the presidential elections’ results announced by the national returning officer. He added that the US reps would not attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Bio.
The tweet reads in part:
“Appears the U.S. Government and embassy in SierraLeone won’t endorse the election result as announced, which declared incumbent president Bio as the winner (with 1% over the required threshold).”
The Twitter user also states that the United States Representatives in the country have resolved not to attend the official swearing-in-ceremony of the president-elect – Dr Maada Bio.
“US reps will not attend the swearing-in,” the release indicated.
Due to the crucial subject matter of the tweet and the pace at which the tweet has been circulated on social media, DUBAWA decided to verify the contents of the tweet.
The United States Embassy in Freetown’s response to @Jeffrey’s claim
DUBAWA contacted a member of the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, Alhassan Jalloh, who vehemently dissociated the Embassy from the said statement.
On WhatsApp, he told DUBAWA that the Embassy would issue a statement in due time,
U.S. Embassy’s position concerning the outcome of June 24 2023, presidential poll
The researcher also discovered the official statement issued jointly on behalf of the US, UK and EU, as seen here.
From the verification, m@Smith_JefferyT does not officially represent the position of the U.S. government or the Embassy in Sierra Leone.