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Lokomasama
Reply with quote  #1 

I have been looking at some of the statistics of last year’s presidential elections and have started to wonder what would have happened had Victor Bockarie Foh or Samuel Samsumana  been APC flagbearer instead of the dour and inarticulate Samura Kamara.

From the voting statistics, it appears that all the APC needed to win the presidency was to be slightly competitive in the Southeast.   Sierra Leoneans vote along ethnic and regional lines.  This means that Foh and Samsumana would have gotten more votes in the Southeast than did Samura Kamara.  That Kamara was blown out in that region didn’t come as a surprise.   

Thus, all other things remaining the same,  Foh, who is Mende,  and Samsumana, who is Kono, could have peeled away Southeastern votes from president Julius Maada Bio thereby possibly winning the presidency.   Did the tribally and regionally conscious APC learn anything from this?  Probably not.

A fundamental problem with the APC lies in its archaic test of Limbaness when it comes to its presidential candidate.   The candidate must either be 100% Limba or at least 50% Limba for him to get the nod of flagbearer.   This perverted unwritten law has hurt the party in the past and will continue to hurt it in the foreseeable future.

Will the young Turks in the APC change the party’s fortune by wresting power and leadership from the old and tired brigades?  Probably.  Looking at the old and wrinkled faces of Ernest Koroma, Minkailu Mansaray and  Osman Yansaneh and juxtaposing them with the youthful and vibrant faces of president Maada Bio, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh and professor David Francis  gives you an idea as to why the APC is dying slowly.  Politics is about imagery and personality.

I do not expect the APC to win in 2023 no matter who the presidential candidate would be.  President Bio and the SLPP are gradually making inroads in the North that will yield dividends come 2023.  Additionally, unlike the SLPP, the APC only wins major elections when it receives help from the government in power, the electoral commissioner or the police.

 In fact, Siaka Stevens once mused that the APC cannot win free and fair elections.  He could not have been more correct.   The odds are weighing against the APC in 2023 and it is expected that the politically savvy president Bio will close all the loop holes for APC electoral cheating.  Thus, any inspired performance by the APC would be a farfetched proposition.

Nonetheless, opening the party up and breaking it out of its effete cocoon and electing a Southeastern presidential candidate will set the stage for a dramatic comeback in 2028. 

A Limba or a Limba-Themne candidate would fall squarely on his face thereby producing the usual negative result in the Southeast.  The Southeast is more homogeneous ethnically than the North.  Six of the seven districts in the Southeast have a Mende majority and predominantly speak the Mende Language.  Thus, compared to the North with its heterogeneity, voter mobilization behind a cause is a lot easier in the Southeast than it is in the North.

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #2 
If Foh had been the APC standard bearer he’d have been more competitive than Samura ONLY if no formidable northern APC politicians broke ranks to form a rival northern party. The APC would have to back Foh the sort of enthusiasm northerners of the PDP in Nigeria had when they backed Obasanjo a Yoruba man from the Southwest when he took on the formidable Buhari.

What would have happened if EBK never got rid of Samsumana and had backed him for the presidency with a northern running mate, would he have done better than Samura if northern politicians coalesced around the ticket?
KL
Reply with quote  #3 

"From the voting statistics, it appears that all the APC needed to win the presidency was to be slightly competitive in the Southeast.   Sierra Leoneans vote along ethnic and regional lines.  This means that Foh and Samsumana would have gotten more votes in the Southeast than did Samura Kamara.  That Kamara was blown out in that region didn’t come as a surprise."  

"Thus, all other things remaining the same,  Foh, who is Mende,  and Samsumana, who is Kono, could have peeled away Southeastern votes from president Julius Maada Bio thereby possibly winning the presidency.   Did the tribally and regionally conscious APC learn anything from this?  Probably not."
_______________________________
 Both the APC and SLPP, in a free and fair election, must be competitive outside of their strong holds to win. But if Sierra Leoneans votes are driven by tribe and region, then your calculation, as far as Foh and Sumana are concerned, is missing a couple factors that can influence the very election another way.

First of, while tribe and region are major factors of influence, it is arguably true that region is secondary to tribe when Sierra Leoneans make their decisions to vote. There are more northerners in the Southeast than Southeasterners in the north. If voting paterns are mosttly driven by tribe, for every vote Foh or Sam gain in the Southeast, how many will he lose because of tribal influence? But the fact of the matter here is that just as Yumkella cannot win in the Southeast, so will neither Sam or Foh will win in the North. Like Specky stated, there is a greater possibility that the APC will split.

kamara
Reply with quote  #4 
Sierra Leonean and other African elections are determined by tribal and regional sentiments regardless of who is on the top of  the ticket. APC has a slight demographic advantage. You are right there are more northerners in  the South than southerners in the north. If you look at the past three elections, APC probably garnered more votes in the south than  SLPP  got in the north.

Nevertheless, other can also  affect   victory:

 How the parties do in Freetown. Freetown is  Sierra Leone's Ohio.If SLPP gets over 40% of the votes in Freetown and maintain the high percentages in its strongholds, it will likely win.

The discontent among voters. Blatant corruption of the party in power. Voters are not as stupid as politicians think. Spraying them  with cash at election time will not sway them in the end. APC was affected by this.

New parties. PMDC, C4C, NDC all affected elections , splitting the votes. PMDC with SLPP and NDC and C4C. The latter two disrupted APC 's chance of victory in the last elections.

Time will tell.
Lokomasama
Reply with quote  #5 
Guys,

Please hold your fire and read the statement below again:

"Thus, all other things remaining the same,  Foh, who is Mende,  and Samsumana, who is Kono, could have peeled away Southeastern votes from president Julius Maada Bio thereby possibly winning the presidency."


The key phrase in the statement above is "all other things remaining the same".  What this phrase means is that we must hold other factors constant.  It is a very popular phrase in economics that denotes that while we consider the effect of one variable on another, the factors that may affect the second variable must be held constant.

Thus, my analysis presupposes that APC votes in the North and Western Area would remain the same if Victor Foh or Samuel Samsumana had headed the APC ticket.  But since these guys are from the Southeast, which is not an APC stronghold, the magnitude of effect of their being Southeasterners will show up in the polls.  SamSumana will win Kono while Foh will be competitive in the six Mende-dominated districts.  That surely would have tipped the scales in favor of the APC leading to the APC winning the presidency. 
KL
Reply with quote  #6 
Unfortunately, in tribal politics, there hardly any variables. But got your drift.
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