Elections on June 24, 2023
Julius Maada Bio confirmed in office as president - The election results in Sierra Leone
Incumbent President Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) has been sworn in again following Sierra Leone's June 24 nationwide election. Bio, 59, won 56.17 percent of the vote, according to the official results of the electoral commission, while his challenger Samura Kamara of the opposition All People’s Congress (ACP) party won 41.6 percent. It was the fifth election since the end of the civil war in 2002. In addition to the president, the parliament was also elected, the 14 seats of the district Paramount Chiefs had already been decided on May 20.
The election took place in the midst of a severe economic crisis that is especially affecting the country's young people. Sixty percent of young people are unemployed (according to Deutsche Welle) and the poor economic situation is leading to strong inflation. The price of rice has quadrupled since 2018, when President Bio first took office. Since 60 percent of the 3.3 million eligible voters (out of a population of 8 million) were younger than 35, these issues caused friction.
The election results are being disputed by the opposition, and international election observers also speak of a "lack of transparency and communication" on the part of the electoral authority. "Bio [is] criticized for his actions against political opponents" (Die Zeit, June 27, 2023), but also enjoys great prestige in the country, not least because of his education offensive and infrastructure measures. Before the election, he had announced that the focus of the next government period would be on agriculture. After the election, he called for peaceful interaction.