President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has reaffirmed government’s unshakeable commitment in ensuring that the March 2018 elections are more transparent and more credible than previous elections. He made this statement whilst receiving the letters of credence of six new ambassadors/high commissioners on Friday 6th October at State House in Freetown.
Those ambassadors who presented their accreditations as heads of mission are Berinder Singh Yadav (India); Andras Szabo (Hungary); Pham Anh Tuan (Vietnam); Dr Mathias Harebamungu (Rwanda); Saleh Ali Al Saqabi (Kuwait); and Mahamadou Zongo (Burkina Faso).
In his general response to the six diplomats, President Koroma said the ambassadors presented their letters of credence at a very critical moment in Sierra Leone’s history – during a very important political transition, at a time when he would be stepping down and graciously hand power over to a new president.
“We are on the verge of conducting another round of elections. Elections that would consolidate the gains and standards we have maintained in the development of our democracy. And let it be known that our commitment remains unshakeable in ensuring that the March 2018 elections are more transparent and more credible. My Government recognises that the peaceful outcome of these elections will take this country another step forward in solidifying our development agenda; it will nudge us further towards our aspiration of becoming middle-income country by 2035 and we are determined to stay on that path of progress,” he told the newly accredited diplomats.
The president pointed out that Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress due to the bilateral support and the partnership of “great friends like you,” but quickly added that “we still have a long way to go”. “This is a journey your governments have travelled with us, and today, you are here to join us cover the last miles ahead. I have no doubts that eventually, we will get to our destination,” he stated.
President Koroma also assured of Sierra Leone’s commitment to continue to fight the good fight, to restore the dignity of ordinary people, to improve the livelihood of thousands below the poverty line, to protect the rights of those fleeing conflicts, protect others from the threats of terrorism, religious bigotry and climate change. He called on other nations to work together as a global community to find lasting solutions to the problems facing the world, saying that those challenges clearly require collective energy, resources, expertise and more significantly, sincerity of purpose.