Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Senegal Her Excellency Khadijatu Bassir has informed the International diplomatic community in Dakar about the political developments in her country. Ambassador Bassir returned to Dakar at the weekend following the elections held on 17 November 2012 during which an estimated 2.3 million voters cast their ballots in the country.
Addressing her colleagues, she said her government has again set a significant political landmark by rising against the challenges of organizing a free, fair and transparent presidential poll.
The joint presidential, legislative and municipal elections have been endorsed by the international community as credible.
She said the incumbent leader, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma was re-elected for a second five-year mandate by winning a “commanding” victory when he polled 58.7 percent of the votes cast during the first round.
The Ambassador made the statement on Tuesday during a briefing session organized by His Excellency Dr. Said Djinnit, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to West Africa and the Sahel region.
Speaking further, she informed her colleagues about the goodwill gesture that President Ernest Bai Koroma has extended to the opposition politicians in his acceptance message
“In his message during the swearing-in ceremony, the President encouraged the members of the other parties to close ranks with him in order to continue rebuilding the country,” the Sierra Leonean envoy said.
Nine other political party leaders contested the election which is the fourth since 1996 when a crisis poll was held that helped to end the 11-year war.
Responding, Dr. Djinnit congratulated the president and people of Sierra Leone for the peaceful elections and recounted the experiences of his several visits to the country including the “unique opportunity” he had to meet with President Koroma.
Ambassador Djinnit then seized the opportunity to urge all Sierra Leoneans to harness their resources which when done effectively, he said could turn the country into the “Switzerland of West Africa”.
Briefing the diplomats further, Ambassador Djinnit appealed to their countries through them, to work assiduously towards peacefully resolving the crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau which he said were a direct threat to security in the sub region.
BY : Ralph Ese’Donnu Sawyerr,
Embassy of Sierra Leone ‘
In Senegal and The Gambia.
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