From the Editor’s Keyboard

Violent Power Struggles in Sierra Leone’s Main Political Parties

By  | 23 October 2013 at 23:13 | 1414 views

There are fierce and violent struggles for political power going on just below the surface in Sierra Leone’s top political parties, the ruling APC and the main opposition party,the SLPP.

In the APC the struggle is about who will succeed President Koroma, first as leader of the party and then as Presidential Candidate in 2018.

The battle is on and some of the president’s closest friends are already fighting among themselves with daggers drawn. This has also led to rising corruption (people looking for campaign funds to fight for the presidency) and significant apathy and recklessness.

The President, as should be expected, is having great problems with this. Yes, uneasy is the head that wears the crown. One thing I know is that the President does not want the battle for who to succeed him to start yet. The Agenda for Prosperity has to be realized first. He is also hoping for somebody that will keep the country together after him and not plunge it into another round of instability. In short he wants a peaceful retirement from active politics when he leaves the throne in 2018. A couple of names, some very close to him, have been whispered into my ears, but I will not tell you now, at this point in time. Let’s have the Agenda for Prosperity on track first.

On the other hand the biggest fight in the SLPP, a party in total disarray right now, is how to get rid of Julius Maada Bio the former presidential candidate who lost woefully to Ernest Koroma in the 2007 presidential election.

Bio wants to contest again and he has a lot of support from some supporters in the south (his main base) and the east of the country.

Many of his supporters are young and poorly educated, quite dangerous and prone to violence. But that is not the only problem with Bio.

His NPRC junta baggage is his real nemesis and many SLPP strategists want him leave the presidential race alone because another attempt will simply lead to another huge loss and humiliation for the party.

I have heard of some serious contenders for the SLPP flagbearership, but I will leave that alone for now until the people concerned make a public declaration.

But that will not stop me to do some speculation at a later date. Right now is just too early.