State House, Freetown, Friday 8 September 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has met the team from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the leadership of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, ICPNC, to discuss mediation efforts with the opposition and key stakeholders.
“I had fruitful discussions with the delegation from the Commonwealth Good Offices for Peace and the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, on my Government’s commitment towards deepening democracy, the rule of law and enhancing peace in Sierra Leone.
“I’ve reassured the mediating parties, including the Economic Community of West African States that my Government is open to working with all Sierra Leoneans, including the Opposition Party, APC. We believe that though we may have chosen different paths, our collective interest is the peace and progress of our country,” he assured.
The President also assured that his government would continue to pursue a common ground for the advancement of the country, adding that he wanted to invite the main opposition All People’s Congress, APC, “to work with us in strengthening our democratic State Institutions by encouraging their elected officials, including Members of Parliament, Councillors, Chairs, and Mayors, to take their rightful seats and responsibilities entrusted to them by our citizens.
“Participating in the comprehensive and independent review of all Election Management Bodies and subsequent implementation of recommendations, to be conducted with the support of our national and international partners.
“Participating in broader governance improvements for state institutions, including the justice sector reform and our constitutional review processes. I also call on all the security sector personnel to protect the right to life and freedom of all citizens.
“As the Commander-In-Chief, I remain committed to our national values of peace, unity, freedom and justice. May God protect Sierra Leone and its citizens,” he concluded.
It could be recalled that ahead of the June 24 elections, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, addressed the signing of the Electoral Pledge by leaders of the two main political parties, which was witnessed by key national and international stakeholders, including the diplomatic community in the country on 25 May 2023.
She emphasised the need for political party leaders to publicly commit to upholding peace before, during and after the elections, adding that “Governing takes enormous courage, skill and heart, and I applaud all the candidates who have put themselves forward and all those who sign this election pledge.
“Presidential candidacy comes with a solemn responsibility, because the office of the President is a sacred trust. And this election pledge goes far beyond symbolism. It is a promise each candidate makes before the country and the people they strive to serve: to put the nation first, to work together, prioritise the national interests and the unity of Sierra Leone.”
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