Encouraged by consistent electoral victories, Senior officials of the main opposition, All People’s Congress (APC) have assured supporters and sympathisers that a hands-down defeat awaits the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLP) One of the officials, Ahmed Sesay made the declaration after APC overwhelmingly triumphed over SLPP in a big margin in PortLoko district in the North-western province.
Provisional results show that APC got 74% of the total votes cast while SLPP managed to secure 44% in Portloko district was painted red in the campaigns and rallies which resulted into an all-out APC victory. It was a big disappointment for SLPP a party that appointed ex-Minister of Information and Communication.
Alpha Kanu who served the erstwhile government of President Ernest Bai Koroma. A strong message has been sent to the SLPP that the party will be given a run for their money in next year’s elections if the trend continues. The big margin in APC’s electoral victory in the district where Bio has always asked for, at least a councillor seat if not a parliamentarian seat is one the ruling party should not kid with. 2023 elections are approaching first. The political tide visibly is no longer in favour of President Julius Maada Bio and cronies, and the political situation has raised strong confidence in APC officials prompting one of them saying “No run off in the 2023 general elections.” The staunch APC politician called on colleague members of APC to stay calm, resolved and united for a common purpose, and that purpose is to kick SLPP out of power next year. The party will capitalise on the people loud outcries for a change of government. Provisional results have shown that SIPP has lost the parliamentary seat to APC in a by-election held last Saturday in Tonkolili district although a protest has been launched by government.
The elections were conducted following the announcement of a vacancy made by the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL). The defeat came as a shock to SLPP, a party which has ruled for close to five years. But, government however seems to have forgotten the recent atrocities it unleashed to the people of Tonkolili when it initially took over power in 2018.
Tonkolili was the first district that saw SLPP’s wrong side in the exercise of state power. Despite the unforgotten brutality, SLPP remains confident that it would clinch the seat relying on its incumbency since it has the cash and cache. The party is known for splashing the cash to get political favours, and where money does not work, the force of the gun is employed and applied Such brute force was used in several constituencies and wards where by elections have taken place in post-2018 elections.
The Application of force by government forces in Tonko Limba local council elections in Kambia district is one of the brightest scenarios. It comes as a surprise since no one dies in Tonkolili district during contest for a deciding seat as SLPP’s defeat has given APC an edge in parliament.
The main opposition now commands majority in parliament, a danger sign for the party in power.
The victory APC earned in the northern district is being celebrated in APC camNps as they are now properly positioned to take on SLPP in next year’s election. Signs are now clear that they would do so with much ease. The peace that prevailed throughout the election period could not be attributed to government alone. The peace flourished throughout the electoral period as peace and moral guarantors were on the ground. A source had intimated this press that foreign representatives were flown into Tonkolili prior to the elections last Saturday.
Ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls are wary and worried over next year’s polls as government implemented none of the recommendations that emanated from the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections. Sierra Leone would soon face multi-tier elections as presidential.
parliamentary and local council elections would be held at a go.
The international community was highly suspicious of government’s rigging tactics after government attempted to postpone 2023 elections to 2024 citing the outbreak of Corona Virus in March, 2020 as the main cause. If the postponement had been approved, Bio would have succeeded in ruling Sierra Leone six to seven years, a move he started long ago. Poised for a seven-year term, the President was going to take advantage of one of the recommendations of the defunct Constitutional Review Committee which called for a term of seven years for the presidency, The attempted postponement was a leaf Bio lent from his predecessor, former President, Ernest Bai Koroma who postponed the 2017 elections to 2018 owing to the Ebola epidemic that struck Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016. The big difference is that Koroma succeeded while Bio failed.
Bio’s plans were foiled by EU who, in a press release of 2021, pressed for the elections to be held next year and not 2024.
EU embassy did not only press for next year’s elections but also heavily criticised key elections management bodies: the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone, the Political Parties Registration Commission, the Sierra Leone Police and the judiciary.
These four government agencies were dubbed unreliable and untrustworthy by EU.) By the embassy’s criticism, it means the international community has no confidence in government single-handedly handing next year’s elections, a situation that warranted pro-active steps by the international community.