In the September 8, 2007 Presidential run-on elections, the APC’s Presidential candidate, Ernest Bai Koroma, defeated the SLPP’s Presidential candidate,
Solomon Ekuma Berewa. Many reasons were responsible for Solomon Berewa’s shocking defeat in the 2007 Presidential run-off elections When Berewa was elected the SLPP flag bearer in Makeni in 2005, he failed to reconcile the party.
especially after a bitterly contested flag bearer race. Many of his opponents in the flag bearer race did not support his candidature. Flag bearer elections in the SLPP are always toughly fought.
Presidential campaign materials and funds were distributed and/or disbursed directly from Berewa’s official residence/office.
The party headquarters was marginalized in the process and the campaign was hijacked by some powerful support groups within the party. The greatest mistake made by the SLPP Government at the time was to allow the entire electioneering process to be controlled, directed and funded by the United Nations. UN electoral advisers and technical experts were surreptitiously brought into the country even without the knowledge of the Kabbah Government Christiana Thorpe, the Chief Electoral Commissioner, was given a free hand to manage the 2007 elections without any monitoring mechanism put in place by the Kabbah Government.
The Government had no control over NEC and its Chairperson Funds provided by the international community for the 2007 elections were managed by Victor Angelo, who was the head of UNIOSIL (United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone). Victor Angelo had an acrimonious relationship with the Kabbah Government. He was very instrumental in the regime change agenda in Sierra Leone in 2007 especially after he fell out with President Kabbah.
Christiana Thorpe had unhindered access to funds provided by the international community for the conduct of the elections. The Kabbah Government left the funding of the 2007 elections in the hands of the international
community. That was a fatal mistake.
The polling materials were provided by the international community. Even tally centres were set up by the UN. The SLPP government had no control over civil society and the media.
During the runoff elections, the APC spent more money than the SLPP on civil society band media propaganda.
The SLPP had no control over the security sector. Police officers loyal to the APC were seen openly beating up SLPP members at polling stations across the country. When the APC Presidential candidate was declared winner of the 2007 Presidential run-off elections by Christian Thorpe, some APC supporters in Police uniform were seen over celebrating openly on the streets of Freetown. We hope that the SLPP will learn a lesson from the defest of Solomon Berewa, by correcting the mistakes made in 24/7.
Thankfully, the SLPP now has a team of robust election monitors and strategists.