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Post-election blunder could negatively impact 2017

The resounding victory of the APC and President Ernest Bai Koroma in the just-concluded November elections could lay a strong foundation for the party’s continuation in power if not taken for granted. When one dissects the polling results and the voting pattern of the past elections, one is quick to realize that the political map was enlarged by the APC to include areas and regions that were not, before this time, traditionally sympathetic to the APC.

This essentially means that the voters in those areas could revert to their former stance if the party does not manage its post-election victory very well. Unfolding events after the elections seem to be pointing in a direction that may disenchant those voters who enthusiastically came out in their numbers to re-elect the APC and its leader. Even though some may think that it is too early to make such assertions, it is quite evident that most of the APC strategists are relishing in the election victory as an end in itself. They tend to be complacent with ad hoc-ism rather than projecting for successive election victories.

The closest I first came to the former SLPP flag-bearer, Mr. Berewa, was when he confidently boasted that he was a president in making with or without much effort. That same sentiment was espoused by another SLPP stalwart who vehemently vowed that nothing could remove SLPP from power. The fallacy of such vaulting assertions was later proven by the seemingly unexpected defeat of the SLPP at the polls in 2017.

That defeat was only unexpected to Berewa and his cohorts who believed that the ball was already in the net before the game began! But for those who viewed the political field from analytical view-point, devoid of sentiments, they may not have been taken by surprise when SLPP fell. The truism that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail became all too obvious in 2007.

The first and foremost post-election blunder by the APC is to implicitly grant legitimacy to the SLPP’s claim of a rigged election even though there is every reason to believe that the elections were free, fair, and credible by every standard of electoral process. The so-called reconciliation meeting held at the State House with members of the opposition with a list of demands in their hand will go down as one of the most strategic blunders that the APC leadership has ever made and will hunt the nation is successive elections. What was there to reconcile about? Elections are about winners and losers and if one party refuses to accept the clarion voice of the people and are given credence for their recalcitrance, I foresee a recurrence of such ill-conceived model in future political events in Sierra Leone. Ernest Koroma and the APC should realize that the defenseless people, who put their lives on the line to give them a mandate to rule, deserve commendation and respect; and their expectations should not be trashed in the dust bin simply because elections are over and are expected to be relevant after another five years.

Political weakness should not be misconstrued as political tolerance. After having learnt that election criminals all over the country are being released based on the precondition given to the government by the opposition for their full participation in governance, I cannot help but shudder. What is the wrong message that the APC government is sending to its supporters who were victims of most of those violent criminal acts? In essence, the government is sending a signal to its loyal supporters that they only care about their votes and not their wellbeing and safety. Throughout the election period, the APC supporters unprecedentedly comported themselves by turning the other cheek to their assailants. But if the government yields to such unconstitutional demands, as it has already done, and thus relegate their victim supporters to derision, they are in fact dampening their future enthusiasm and comportment.

I wonder whether President Koroma’s strategy takes into cognizance the APC party’s wellbeing and continuation in governance. Does he intend to go down the path that former President Tejan Kabba took by concentrating only on his own personal legacy at the expense of the party that made his dreams come true? As leader of the APC party, he stands responsible for the future success or otherwise of the party. The closed door meeting held with the opposition, which has not in any way changed the stance of the opposition, has left pundits suggesting the likelihood of a power-sharing arrangement. For that thought to even make their way in the minds of people is a sell-out not only to the APC supporters, but to the democratic process as a whole. Let us bear in mind that successive losers in future elections will one day borrow a page from this political weakness dubbed tolerance.

Posted by on 8:50 pm. Filed under Breaking News, NEWS, OTHER NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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