The president of Sierra Leone has alleged that the United States exerted pressure on him to intervene in the voting process of the country’s June 24 election.
This assertion stands in sharp contrast to the concerns raised by Washington questioning the impartiality of the aforementioned poll.
“When the elections were at the height — of calling the results — this is when the problems started,” President Julius Maada Bio said during a speaking event at American University in Washington.
The Election Commission of Sierra Leone, he said, “had done all their calculations, collations, all the processes. I was now requested to stop them from calling the result by the United States. So I don’t know who is accusing who of interference.”
“They are an independent, semi autonomous body,” the president said of the ECSL. “I declined, and I said I have never called this institution, I am not going to call them now.”
In a contentious election that was criticised by both the opposition and outside observers, Bio, 59, was reelected.
Following the election, representatives from the US, EU, France, Ireland, and Germany announced in a joint statement that they shared concerns expressed by national and international observers “about the lack of transparency in the tabulation process.”