Dr. Kandeh Yumkella criticises the PR voting system that has destroyed his third-force NGC party  

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 July 2023:

Many Siera Leoneans – in and out of the country are perplexed and dumbfounded after reading a Twitter comment yesterday, published by the former parliamentary leader  and founder of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party – Dr Kandeh Yumkella, whose political career has now ended in tatters, as casualty of the June 24 presidential and general election in Sierra Leone.

Yumkella designed the masterplan for his own political suicide. As chairman of the parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising laws enacted by the Bio-led government, Yumkella saw nothing wrong with the 2022 Elections Act that brough the District Block voting system that has now caused so much controversy and misery for millions of  people across the country who did not understand its implications.

But now, Yumkella is criticising the District Block system after turning a blind eye as scrutiny chairman in parliament, as his NGC party loses all five seats won in 2018 in the Kambia District, including his own seat.

This is what he said yesterday on his Twitter feed:  “The final results released by the EC salone show that the PR threshold posed significant limitations on the political opportunities available to smaller parties. Despite the multitude of challenges and constraints we encountered, the NGC Salone gave its best effort.

“We humbly accept the people’s verdict. Heartfelt congratulations to President Bio and the Progressive Alliance on this resounding victory. May the Almighty guide you Mr. President to govern with inclusivity for all Sierra Leoneans.

“The Progressive Alliance remains steadfast in our commitment to advancing the vision of Compassionate Inclusive Governance.

“Immense gratitude to all the devoted members of the NGC Salone who tirelessly contributed to our campaign. Your unwavering dedication is deeply appreciated. Let us unite now in our collective endeavours to forge a brighter future for SierraLeone.”

Will Yumkella be trusted ever again with position of power in Sierra Leone?

This is what political commentator Thomas Sankara said on social media: “Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella threw his Parliamentary career under the bus. He was the most centrist lawmaker in the Fifth Parliament. He did exceptionally well with the Committee on Fake Degree Investigation.

“He’s a global icon on energy, diplomacy and what have you. Unfortunately, this fine academic, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, former parliamentary leader of the NGC party in all his political consultations, calculations, negations, etc, has failed to preserve himself. He literally, politically sacrificed his Parliamentary future without counting the cost behind his alliance deal with the SLPP. The alliance dug Yumkella’s parliamentary grave without him knowing it.

“Hon. Yumkella, could have easily bargained with the SLPP not to present a parliamentary candidate against him in his own backyard, Kambia District like he also did for Bio by not contesting for the presidency, but he failed to do so. Hon. Yumkella, saved the aspiration of Maada Bio by jeopardizing his Parliamentary fate. He was tricked and has tripped with the vexatious vote against him by the people of Kambia.

“He can blame the PR voting system as much as he wants but he needn’t forget that he voted in favour of the law that he’s now decrying in his tweets.

“If there is anything to learn from the Parliamentary downfall of Hon. Yumkella, it’s the fact that not even a sophisticatedly educated man can withstand the antics and brinkmanship of politics.”

“Noto because you learn book or have international acclamation means say u sabi politics.

“The consequences for Hon. Yumkella are dire and two-pronged in nature; he’s not eligible to be a Minister and can’t also be selected as even Deputy Speaker. Hon. Yumkella needs a deep soul-searching and must ask himself how and when he can make right his political incorrectness.”

This is the end of Yumkella’s political career, and possibly the end too for the NGC party in what is now definitely a continuation of a two horse race between the SLPP and the APC.


  1. But can I say that in politics, as perhaps in many areas of human affairs, flexibility and adaptability are approaches that are of immense value? Put differently, while being single-minded might be seen as a desirable attribute, a virtue of sorts, is it always so? Our recent political history threw up monsters like Foday Sankoh and Sam Bockarie, who single-mindedly sought to gain power through maiming, raping and slaughtering their compatriots in their tens of thousands. So, while flip-flopping is not a virtue in politics, having a one-track mind is not one either. The American industrialist John H Patterson once said: “Only fools and dead men don’t change their minds. Fools won’t. Dead men can’t.” In a country such as ours that is teetering on the brink of an abyss, our capacity for dialogue, compromise, flexibility and adaptability, when deployed promptly, can go some way in saving us from the appalling consequences of our most egregious acts of commission and/or omission.

  2. These are not the kind of leaders that Sierra Leone desperately needs now, more than ever before when it is almost at the brink of collapse…Men that would flip and change sides like a coin tossed up in the air when the going gets tough; We need single minded leaders and not flip floppers, like Kandeh Yumkella, Alpha Kanu and other disreputable individuals out to seek their own personal interests…and not those of the poor people of Sa Lone.

  3. Both of your comments are very informative and educational, especially to a Salone diasporan, who has been out of the country for almost 20 years. I can say without any equivocation, that Dr. Yumkella is a very strategic and educated person, i cannot imagine him not seeing the pitfalls that were before him, when he pledged his alliance with the SLPP.In my heart of hearts, i know that KKY would be an incredible leader,and an asset to Sierra Leone. I wish you to brothers blessings and love.
    I garnered from your aforementioned comments, that both of you too, can also be assets to our beloved country. My ardent hope, is to see this election fiasco resolved, because every single day that the APC refuses to recognize president.Bio as the duly elected president,and that the parliamentary elections results are rigged,puts us back, socially,(the country is politically divided right now) as well as economically.

    The Gambia resolved its own case of presidential election fraud amicably, just as Kenya did. I hope we will be able to do the same, before the country descend into anarchy. Thanks again brothers. God bless Sierra Leone.

  4. I agree with you completely, Santhkie Sorie. And I accept that I have been negative, cynical even, in my assessment of Dr Yumkella’s future in our national politics. He is fundamentally a decent person, and given his proven abilities, he can still bounce back and make a difference in politics and its practice in our homeland, particularly in this time of great uncertainty brought on by the imbroglio and tension relating to the purposely skewed results of the recently concluded general elections. This uncertainty may lead to a wholesale reconfiguration of our country’s political landscape, thus making it possible for Dr Yumkella and people of his calibre to play a central role in governance. Indeed, in politics, which Dr Yumkella himself described at one stage as, if my memory serves me right, the art of the possible, one should never say never.

  5. Dauda Yillah, you are right, KKY never left SLPP. nor did most members of NGC . The latter revealed themselves after KKY declared an alliance with SLPP, an alliance that that has become effectively defunct, putting people like me floating all over the place. My hatred of both SLPP is infinite.

    Kandeh Yomkella was propelled to form NGC by raw, untamed emotions, contrary to what one would expect of a man who rose to one of the top jobs at the United Nations. His credibility would have been far more enhanced had he stuck with NGC to the end.

    I don’t think KKY’s political career is over, even with the somersault it’s currently going through. It needs to be remembered that the re-election of Bio is still under scrutiny, and much of the nation is seething with anger that’s almost palpable; the army is divided – a serious threat to stability. Although a re-run of the elections carried a low probability, it nevertheless is within the realm of possibility. Those who may oppose a major Yomkella role in the SLPP Government are themselves not sure what the future holds.

    A nation that is politically unstable is heading for terminal collapse economically. Heaven knows that investors, both local and foreign, are extremely averse to committing funds to an unstable environment. Sierra Leone is in trouble. I wish I could be privy to communication between foreign diplomats in the country and their respective governments and institutions. It can’t be good for my beloved country.

  6. Maybe the former NGC parliamentary leader is shedding crocodile tears here. An SLPP man to the core, he was perhaps never fully committed to the NGC Party in the first place. So, when Bio offered him an olive branch last year, he seized it with both hands and began planning surreptitiously his return to his political roots. As he has now lost his parliamentary seat (a tear for him) and overseen to all intents and purposes the demise of the NGC,the way is presumably clear for him to get back home.

    However, one must ask: will Dr Yumkella be received with open arms into the Paopa fold? As he will be returning with a whimper rather than a bang, will he stand any chance of commanding the respect and trust of those party members that have worked up a sweat and given their their all over the years to get the party elected and keep it in power? In other words, will the likes of Jusu Saffa, Prince Harding, Dr Jalloh, Fatima Bio and many others meekly take a back seat and allow their party’s prodigal son to steal their thunder and gain ascendancy, becoming in the fullness of time – assuming Bio decides not to try his luck and go for a third term – their party’s next presidential flag bearer? For all his intellect, charisma, professional achievements and international reputation, will he not be be viewed as an upstart who on failing to to have his way with the party went on an ego trip and founded a new and rival political formation? Only time will tell.

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