Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 September 2019:
Sierra Leone’s ruling SLPP party has won yesterday’s by-election in Falaba constituency 040, in the Koinadugu district, northern province of the country, according to provisional results released by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).. SLPP got 56.7% with 4,122 votes, and APC 40.3% with a total of 2,927.
Commenting on the results, opposition APC party grandee – Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, said: “It is true that under Tejan Kabbah, most of Koinadugu/Falaba (up to 75%) was SLPP until 2007 when APC turned the tables and Koinadugu became 75% APC, leaving SLPP with only two parliamentary seats, down from the six they had previously held between 2002 and 2007.
“In 2012, APC regained the entire Koinadugu and clinched all the seats. All MPs and all Local Councillors elected by Falaba/Koinadugu, went to the APC.
“Falaba is most definitely not an APC stronghold. It is a purely swing District under the Second Republic. And even under Siaka Stevens’ First Republic, that area was always battle ground prior to the institution of a One Party State. It is wrong to assume the whole of the north of Sierra Leone is a homogenously APC territory. Just like Freetown, Falaba is a swing District.”
If those results are finally confirmed by NEC, the ruling SLPP will now have 59 seats in parliament.
In March 2018 SLPP won 49 seats and APC 68. Struggling to form a majority government in parliament, SLPP had to rely on the support of smaller parties such as the NGC with their 4 seats and C4C’s 8 MPs, to get its programmes through parliament, though sometimes with some difficulty.
But after taking over nine more seats a few months ago following a court petition hearing, seats which were previously won by the opposition APC, SLPP have built their parliamentary majority to 58. And with today’s victory in Falaba, SLPP will have 59 seats in parliament.
There is another by-election taking place next weekend in Bafodia constituency 043 in the Koinadugu district, which will be hotly contested. But with the SLPP’s current winning streak, it is unlikely they will lose.
But there are calls within the APC rank and file, for a change in direction and leadership of the party so as strengthen its capability and capacity to win elections.
The National Electoral Commission is yet to announce a date for the cancelled by-election in Constituency 110 of Freetown, where there was considerable violence in at least one of the polling centres.
These are the Falaba results announced today by NEC: