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The election was regarded by some international observers as a litmus test for West Africa’s democratic resilience.

13 candidates contested the presidential election, although the two largest opposition parties, the National Grand Coalition (NGC) and the Coalition for Change (C4C) did not field presidential candidates in 2023.

The election campaign began on 23 May and the key issues for voters were the high cost of living, high taxes on businesses, rising inflation, electricity challenges and the rising cost of fuel.

Other concerns raised by voters were youth unemployment, education, infrastructure, peace and security.

Election results

The election results showed President Bio re-elected to serve a second and final five-year term in office.

Samuel Kamara came second with 41.16% of the vote and the other 11 candidates garnered just 2.67% of votes between them.

Sierra Leone: 2023 presidential election results

International reaction

Several countries and international organisations commented on the processes and results in Sierra Leone’s presidential election.

As well as making individual comments, the US, the UK, Ireland, Germany and France issued a joint statement on 28 June, expressing concern over “the lack of transparency in the tabulation process” and calling on stakeholders to engage in dialogue to resolve disputes.

President Bio hit back at the criticism, saying: “We should stand our grounds and correct certain misrepresentation and tell them that it is the constitution of Sierra Leone that determines how results are counted here.”

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