HINGA NORMAN: POLITICS OF STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Thursday September 22, 2005

 By Joseph S. Sherman, Washington, DC

 The PLP, an offshoot of the AFRC, and the RUFP, a political party born from the notorious RUF.  These are not political parties or movements that come to mind when you think of Hinga Norman’s Kamajor supporters forming an alliance these political parties.  But the Rev. Alfred Sam Foray, spokesman of Hinga Norman has announced their alliance with PLP and the RUFP to fight the ruling SLPP.

 Can the Kamajors work with its former enemies in fighting the ruling SLPP? Is the coalition bound to collapse under the weight of past differences?  Skeptics say the coalition should not be viewed as a permanent alliance but a camouflage and an apologetic stance on the part of Hinga Norman’s supporters to the AFRC and RUF after disappointment received from President Kabbah’s government.

 Having always fancied African politics, it is no surprise that this unholy alliance is inevitable.  In politics, they say all things are possible- politics is the science of deals.  Whatever concept Hinga Norman’s supporters subscribe to, we are certainly witnessing that all kinds of “deals” are possible in political developments in Sierra Leone with the dramatic emergence of strange political bedfellows.

 It is incomprehensible at this time to know that the once hard-line loyalists of the SLPP, who had invested his populism in rhetoric and allegiance is robustly castigating the leadership and policies of the party even to the extent of forming an alliance with former enemies.   Sometimes politics can unite groups who would otherwise be at each other’s necks; however, the question now remains whether establishing an alliance with former enemies is justifying the alleged crimes and mayhem for which these groups are being tried in the Special Court in Sierra Leone?

 While it is true that desperate times do indeed call for desperate measures, it is not a good idea to be desperate about making a decision concerning desperate measures you are contemplating.  The desperation of Hinga Norman’s supporter at this crucial time calls for deliberate and dispassionate planning if success is to be achieved.  In other words, the hasty decision of allowing an unholy alliance with former enemies is letting desperation get the best of the electorates, and unfortunately, the result of the disease of desperation is chronic disappointment.

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