By Alhaji Haruna Sani
With less than a month to the June 24 elections- an election projected to be tightly contested between the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the main opposition All People’s Congress Party, we continue to bring to the public a predication as to who wins in what district and how that win will influence the general outcome of the elections.
Over the years, voting pattern by district and region largely determines who wins the presidential elections.
Since 2017, Sierra Leone has been divided into sixteen political districts and six regions, including the North-East, North-West, South, East, Western Urban and Western Rural.
Below is short analysis of our voting pattern based on district and region since 2007.
In 2007, the voting pattern was unique in its own way. The SLPP swept vast majority of votes in all districts in the South-East districts including Kono and the APC cleared the North and Western Area, save for Kambia and Koinadugu where the SLPP shared the votes with the APC. But the unique aspect of the election was that the APC secured a significant number of votes from all South-Eastern districts. Those votes were influenced by the defection of Charles Francis Margai- a disgruntled former SLPP strongman whose uncle and father, Sir Milton Margai and Sir Albert Margai were the first and second Prime Minister of Sierra Leone respectively.
Interestingly enough, Charles Francis Margai who influenced those votes in the South-East that brought the Ernest Bai Koroma APC administration to governance in 2007 had again defected to the APC, promising to bring back the party to power.
While officially declaring for the APC in their Old Rail-Way Line Head office in Brookfields, Freetown, Margai said “2023, we have decided that the APC will take back the mantle of governance”.
Margai described himself as the game changer who never compromises “In 2007, I supported the APC and they won. In 2018 when I supported President Bio he won; now I am here again to give back the power to the APC.
By virtue of the electoral especially taking into consideration tribe, the ruling SLPP would probably sweep the entire South-East, with a tight race in Kono while the APC will win the Western Rural, Western Urban and the entire north, save for Kambia and Falaba where the SLPP has maintained traditional votes over the years.
Winning the elections for the SLPP will be pegged on the number of votes they amass in the Western Area Urban. The SLPP will secure huge votes from Kambia in the north because of the influence of Kandeh Kolleh Yumkellah, a native from Kambia who recently defected to the SLPP in a so-called strategic alliance. The SLPP will also get some huge votes from Falaba because of the native Fulas who are traditionally SLPP supporters.
Verdict: If the APC is to win the election, they should at least secure 18% of the average votes in the South-East and if the SLPP is to win they need to secure at least an average of 28% of the total votes in the North and Western Areas. Watch out!