Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 February 2017
Sierra Leone’s opposition SLPP party has made a Herculean start in reducing the 60% national electoral majority gained by the ruling APC in 2012, after a tough show of strength and unity at last Saturday’s by-election in Bumbuna, Tonkolili district.
The by-election came about as the result of the death of sitting APC Member of Parliament – Dr. Taworo Ansumana Bockarie Tara-Koroma of Sambaia Chiefdom, representing Constituency 066. Dr. Koroma passed away on the 16th of December, 2016, and was buried on the 9th January, 2017.
In 2007 APC won the seat after polling 11,602 votes and SLPP 2,972, with a turnout of 15,513.
But in 2012 the turnout was even larger – 21,899. Dr. Taworo Ansumana Bockarie Tara-Koroma of Sambaia Chiefdom won the seat for the ruling APC with a much larger majority, after polling 88% of the votes cast – 19,318, and SLPP trailing second with only 1,856 (8.4%) – losing over one thousand of the votes won in 2007.
That was in 2012, and the opposition SLPP has realised the errors of its ways. After years of bitter political wrangling and jostling for the leadership of the party, and a peace deal brokered by Alie Kabba just two weeks ago, SLPP supporters have every reason to celebrate last Saturday’s by-election result, increasing their votes in Tonkolili by almost 3,000 votes, thus closing the gap massively on the ruling APC.