Sierra Leone 2018 elections – taking parliament and losing the presidency

Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, OOR:

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 December 2017

Sierra Leone’s Western Area is the district most famous for swing voting. In 1996 and 2002 elections, the SLPP got the highest percentage of votes in the Western Area. In 2002, the SLPP got 60% of the Western Area votes.

By 2004 and on to pivotal 2007 elections, the APC had taken over Western Area. By 2012 due to the leverage brought by certain strategists and master politicians like Ernest Bai Koroma, the Western Area gave over 70% of its votes to APC.

What will happen in 2018? That is the focus of this article. Let us take a random constituency in the Western Area.

As is usual in Sierra Leone, most citizens  vote for the same party, in both Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

So, assuming the All For All (444) voting pattern in 2018, then let’s run my hypothesis, as in the title of this article. Six political parties can get the following results in the Western Area Constituency for both Presidential and Parliamentary elections:

Party A =38%, Party B =23%, Party C =19%, Party D =13%, Party E =5%, and Party F =2%.

Based on dictates of the Sierra Leone Constitution, the Party A candidate with just 38% is automatically elected to Parliament under the First-Past-The-Post system, even though 62% of the voters in that Constituency did not vote for Party A.

62% shared their votes among other party candidates, but since the Party A candidate got the highest percentage (38%), so he/she becomes the duly elected Parliamentarian.

What this means is that despite the advent of all the new ‘populist’ parties, they still may not stand the chance of clinching any seat in the Western Area. The APC is most likely going to sweep all the seats – albeit with much lower percentages.

Similarly, vast majority, if not all of the seats in the North of the country could be won by APC even though APC’s percentage wins may not be in high 65% to 90% range which APC candidates scored in 2012.

However, for an APC Presidential Candidate whose national total votes is less than 50%, then that APC candidate now has to go into a Run-Off election, since the 55% threshold was not met. That Run-Off election will be woefully lost if the opposition SLPP,  ADP,  NGC, C4C/PMDC and CDC gang up against APC for the Run-Off.

Footnote

I deliberately use 50% instead of 55%. Run-offs only need 50%+1. So if a party in the first round, already has above 50% but less than 55% threshold, the party is sure of winning the second round.

The bottom-line is that, under the 1991 Constitution which gives a First-Past-The-Post requirement for Parliamentary elections, but a 55% threshold for Presidential election, it means a political party can clinch vast majority of seats in Parliament, even though its parliamentary candidates got unimpressive percentages – far less than even 40%.

Yet, despite their strong majority in Parliament, such party can still go on to woefully lose the Presidency in any ensuing Run-Off elections.

The concluding question is whether the ruling APC still stands tall in our strongholds? I have done a SWOT analysis of APC for the Western Area. I also confidently know the SWOT analysis of APC in Kissi Chiefdoms of Kailahun, where in 2012, we won a seat from SLPP’s  Tamba Sam.

Can my APC party retain our 70% strength in Western Area? Can we retain our Kissi seat in Kailahun? Food for deep thought.

I am predicting that the next general elections next March will produce spectacular democratic outcomes.

7 Comments

  1. It is time for Maada Bio to become president in Sierra Leone after many years of hard work no matter what will happen

  2. APC party is full of wickedness. Look at some of the people who joined APC how they ended up. These people’s hand’s are full of blood. Look at moseray Fadika, Osu Boie, Sam Sumana even you with all your good work.
    God will pay them for us – keep on the Good work. From Abdulrahman in Holland.

  3. The predictions here are not bad, Sylvia said if all the other parties can come together which is not likely possible. I also want to tell you the following realities and keep them as food for thoughts.

    1. The western area of Freetown is Northern dominated and the creoles as well the owners of the municipality and there is over 65% of unshakeable support for APC.

    2. There is a regional and tribal consciousnesses voting pattern which we now see in play, and this has not changed and the northern tribes are more close to the city, that is why their presence is so high in the city.

    3. The Northern tribes have moved over the years in the south and the East doing small and large scale businesses and they are 10 times more than the south and east tribe you find in the north, so it is obvious that, what the ruling party will get from the south and the east will be more than what SLPP will get in the north. The rallies can prove that.

    Coming to NGC and the rest. Note that, supporters from SLPP and APC formed those parties, it is more likely that, after March 7, everybody will go back home, some people will prefer to go back than to obey the voice of their choicest candidates like Dr. Kandeh, they will not have control over them, is very easy for me to go back where I come from. So think about this analysis too.

  4. I am an admirer of Sylvia Blyden as a public figure, and I am ready to run through a wall for her within that context. But I believe her analyses are off.

    In the years following Ernest Koroma’s election for a second term, the mentality of the Sierra Leone voter has altered, causing him/her to become extremely fastidious, sardonic and suspicious. This frame of mind has been helped in no small measure by the understanding that politicians know what to do for the nation’s progress only at election time. Once the election is over with their recidivism naturally surfaces by their undisguised plundering of the country’s wealth.

    Dr Blyden consciously fails to see the phenomenon which has gripped the nation in her analyses, which is understandable. After all, because she is a typical politician, which means she is in a persuasive mode twenty four hours a day. She would use every tactic to muddy the waters and then commence to devour all obstacles.

    The phenomenon is NGC led by Kandeh Yumkella. All-but-in-name, NGC have effectively replaced the decades old SLPP as the main opposition party. At every opportunity, Kandeh is rubbing it in on APC. He must have observed what filthy fighters APC are, and like them, he is prepared to hit opponents on their way down and on their way up – a merciless finisher, not caring whether or not somebody cries foul.

    Kandeh Yumkella is being mobbed everywhere he goes simply because he is not campaigning on a high horse. He is right there on the ground, speaking the language which ordinary people understand. He speaks not “krio-english” [that is krio spoken by those who want to tell us that they are educated] but real, basic krio which pa Sorie and Mammie Aye and the “sabisman” at the poda poda station understands.

    Kandeh says something like “wusai de ebola money go” not the ebola funds don mysteriously disappear. By coming down to the people Kandeh can hear them breathe the breath of pain.

    Come 2018 Kandeh will be at State House. NGC just have to ensure that any voting system introduced by APC is properly srutinised for the tiniest loophole which will favour them.

    And so I agree with Senesie Junior Boima entirely.

  5. Predicting spectacular democratic outcomes for the 2018 elections, Sylvia? Why not go one step further and tell us which party or parties the “spectacular democratic outcomes” will benefit. Actually one does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

  6. Thanks Dr Sylvia for your campaign strategy statistical analysis for your party the APC (Always Problem Continues) party. You show the decadence society that your party and it supporters like you people have ensnared the populace with your selfish, self grandiose of the state resources for your selected few to the detriment of the masses.

    Your party has made the average person to lack the will to resist, to contend and to fight against corruption, nepotism, misappropriation of state resources but instead to compromise and give up to fate and chance with a bleak future.

    Your analysis was based on the two dominant parties at that time and it will surprise you of the shock the APC party will receive after the March 2018 presidential and general elections with the least members of parliament.

    The NGC party will come as not only the winner of the presidential elections but with the most members of parliament that will help them legislate and reverse any negative tendencies that had being implemented by the APC party.

    It is not surprising that some of our Sierra Leonean women both at home and in the diaspora are so negative and being enemies of progress as was demonstrated by Christiana Thorpe as Chief Electoral commission during the 2007 presidential election, when she deliberately disenfranchised nearly 600,000 registered and eligible voters just to satisfy the wicked and selfish desires of letting the APC party into power.

    After 10 years in power with their false claim of investing 10% in the agricultural sector, including giving US$170 Million dollars in hard currencies to EB Koroma. Middle Eastern business associates import rice every year which is one billion and seven hundred million US Dollars in their 10 years of bad leadership and governance. Sierra Leone is now the hungriest country in the entire West Africa sub-region and the third hungriest country in the entire world.

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