By Thomas Dixon
There is a growing hunger for populist candidates around the world and it seems as if they are able to capture the minds of the people as quickly as possible.
The rise of anti-establishment parties and candidates in the world has led to a new order of populism from Trump in the United States to Marcron in France- they have all demonstrated populist ideas.
Since independence, Sierra Leone has been ruled by just two parties and their military proxy regimes. They have ruled Sierra Leone for almost 55 years with little or nothing to show for it.
Many Sierra Leoneans believed that there is no difference between the two parties in terms of ideologies. All what they are bent on doing is to divide the people on ethno-regional lines whenever there are elections. These parties will never espouse meaningfully policies, they will eschew public scrutiny and they will even damn democratic process within their parties.
In 2005 when the ruling All People Congress was in opposition, the party was rocked with all sorts of manipulations to ensure that one man becomes the end all and be all of the party, similar thing is being done in the in main opposition Sierra Leone People Party now. Thus, the more you try to figure out the dissimilarities between the APC and SLPP, the more one will see the similarities between the two parties.
People believed that the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) should have done away with both the SLPP and the APC and that would have ushered in political parties which would not have based their politicking on divide and rule.
However, the NPRC failed to do so because it is believed that they were in fact the proxy of the SLPP.
There is doubt that new political parties will not survive in Sierra Leone as people are always pointing to the People Democratic Party (PDP) of the late Thaimu Bangura and Charles Margai’s People’s Movement for Democratic Change as parties that would have become formidable third force.
But those doubters never asked themselves the reason why these parties were sent into early graves.
The PDP did very well in the 1996 elections and won Parliamentary Seats but in 2002 they did very little because their then leader Osman Kamara decided to show loyalty to the SLPP by refusing to contest for the leadership of the country despite the fact the SLPP had already poached all their potentials.
Like the PDP, the PMDC was killed in 2012 after performing very well in 2007 because of political poaching.
In 1996, Sierra Leone almost did the impossible on February 26 that year when both the United National People’s Party of the late John Kerifa Smart got 22.7% and Thaimu Bangura’s Peoples Democratic Party had 16.1 % of the votes in the first round and the UNPP which came second went into a runoff with SLPP that had 36.0% of the votes.
Even in the runoff, the UNPP had over 40% of the votes with widespread irregularities reportedly done by the SLPP and NPRC.
The SLPP was also supported by the NUP, PDP and the APC but managed to get 59% of the votes.
The reason the APC supported the SLPP was because they knew if the UNPP would have won it would have been their natural death.
Therefore, it is never impossible for a third force to succeed in the politics of Sierra Leone not to talk of a coalition that gets their acts together.
There is a widespread political discontentment particularly amongst young people across the country that it is high time, they remove both the APC and SLPP because their lives have not improved under the reigns of these parties.
It will be early to say that a coalition will win the 2018 election but if they are able to come together and make the coalition a people’s coalition there is a possibility that there will be a political Tsunami in the country- wiping away the two political parties.
This is so because the names that are coming up in the coalition are not pushovers in politics as some people will want to make others believed, and if they are united they will be a very strong force to reckon with.
KKY Supporters Jailed For Calling Mohamed Bangura ‘Okobo’
“I will pursue this matter to the end, even if it means losing my Ministerial position and nobody will talk to me,” an angry Minister of Information lamented
Mohamed Bangura made this statement when he was responding to a report that some supporters of KKY are in the police detention for calling him( Minister Bangura) Okobo (meaning impotent) in a whatsapp group.
Both the Personal Assistant of Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella and his Northern Region Coordinator, Amadu Sheriff and Frances Sahr Josiah were respectively arrested last Wednesday 19 July, 2017 and have been in police detention at the Criminal Investigation Department.
When SALONE TIMES contacted the Minister of Information and Communication, he (Mohamed Bangura) confirmed that he reported the matter to the Sierra Leone Police but did not order for their arrest.
According to the Minister in a telephone interview, the people he reported added him to a whatsapp group in which his photo with all sorts of comments was made the profile picture of the group.
“They did not stop there, they went on to take the picture of my 7 months old kid and started insinuating that I am impotent and that I am not the father of my boy because according to them we don’t look alike,” Minister Bangura said.
He explained that he is thick-skin but that one thing he will not allow is for someone to take the photo of a 7 months old baby and started making unsubstantiated remarks.
Minister Bangura and Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella have been throwing words at each other ever since Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella suspended his aspiration of becoming president under the Sierra Leone People Party.
However, unconfirmed report states that the Police released the two supporters of KKY last Friday July 21 2017 after spending two days in detention.