During the historic signing of the Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party at the newly refurbished Brookfields Hotel on Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown on Tuesday 6th February 2024, which was witnessed by representatives of the International Community, the Government Co-Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Gaima, did not mince matters when he stated that there would be no rerun of the Saturday 24th June, 2024 elections.

Dr. Emmanuel Gaima hammered home the statement when giving an update on the purpose and mission of the Tripartite Committee set up to look into the reforms of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in Sierra Leone so as to avoid election disturbances and confusion whenever the country holds national elections.

The Co-Chairman emphasized that as a representative of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) on the Tripartite Committee, he would assure Sierra Leoneans with no hesitation that President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio was solidly behind the reforms of the electoral process in the country.

He noted that in his maiden speech to Parliament after the June 24 national elections, he made it equivocally clear that amongst his priorities was to see the reformation of electoral laws, processes and procedures in Sierra Leone.

According to Dr. Gaima, they took time to look at all the various issues to come out with a number of bullet points which members of the committee agreed would form the basis of their examination into past election results so that when they eventually come out with their recommendations, they would be what the people of Sierra Leone could be looking out for.

The event attracted a host of diplomats including the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Bryan Hunt among several others. Members of the APC and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), CSOs, members of the Fourth Estate and other interested parties were also in attendance.

Host of the event was the Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor A. Bah. Also, on the High Table to give updates on the task of the Tripartite Committee were Co-Chairs Dr. Emmanuel Gaima, Dr. Kaifala Marah and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Seraphine Wakana.

Giving an overview of the Tripartite Committee, Co-Chair Dr. Kelfala Marah of the APC said as far as he was concerned, he was satisfied with the work done so far by the committee. He added that throughout the six months existence of the Tripartite Committee they looked at several areas regarding the recent elections and past elections with a view to coming up with recommendations that would assist the government to reform the electoral system of the country.

Dr. Kelfala said when the committee begins to really look at the issues, the recommendations they will eventually come up with will be genuine and devoid of any partisan bias.

He made it crystal clear that the committee is not a Commission of Inquiry and also dispelled the rumours of a rerun of the 24th June, 2023 elections, saying that the national elections were done and dusted and that it is only President Julius Maada Bio who has the prerogative to call for an election.

On her part, Resident Coordinator for the United Nations in Sierra Leone, Seraphine Wakana, commended the APC and the Government of Sierra Leone for shrugging aside their political biases and coming together to sort out their differences in a diplomatic way.

She informed that as a representative of the International Community, she was optimistic that the work of the Tripartite Committee, which was very transparent, inclusive and interactive, and that the outcome would lead to eventual recommendations that would chat the way forward for a reform of Sierra Leone’s Election Management Bodies (EMBs), is the ultimate goal Sierra Leoneans are looking forward to.

Seraphine Wakana therefore urged the concerned parties to continue with the dialogue and to put the interest of Sierra Leone first.
Host of the event, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor A. Bah, successfully conducted the meeting that was climaxed with the signing of the Tripartite Agreement by the respective Co-Chairs and the UN Resident Coordinator followed by a question-and-answer session.