By Solomon Sesay :
We republish this article written on March 27, 2012 predicting the results of the Presidential Elections. It is difficult to imagine, some expected Bio to win fully aware the numbers were not in his favor-figures don’t lie. Furthermore, Sierra Leone’s political climate accurately favored a second term for President Koroma. No prediction is 100% accurate. We are pleased that 75% of what we wrote is accurate. Here are some of the highlights in retrospect.
1) President Koroma is the most favorable choice of seventy-five 75% of the voters in the West. Bio’s backbreaker would be the fact that ninety percent 90% of the North’s votes, are for President Koroma. How accurate can someone be? 2) The Eastern Province is the only region where results would be too close to call in November. We must keep an eye on Kono, Kenema, and Kailahun; results in these districts will convince Bio to concede or clash. Solomon Sesay hits the bull’s-eye.
3) Except the Satanic Lasmamy People’s Party believe that their voodoo and juju spells will work magic in the hearts and minds of the voting public, there is no way they can overcome a difference of nearly half a million voters (495384 to be exact) in the northwest. President Koroma actually won a landslide with approximately this number of voters less eighteen thousand votes.With 233111 votes cast it is pretty accurate the Incumbent won with 477364 more votes.
On the other hand, all things were not equal because no third party was a factor. Take into account also that our predictions were based on a 100% turn out which is never the case; turnout was at 87%. APC won 6 seats in Kono, and President Koroma had more votes than Kabbah in 2002 although the percentage was lower. In March we wrote 4) these are conservative figures. They are subject to fine-tuning if political developments in Sierra Leone so dictates. What is certain right now is that a runoff is definitely not in the picture because President Koroma is the clear-cut favorite to win convincingly in November. From the NEC figures 87% voted and I thank God that I was 75% or above exact with my predictions.
PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA BEING SWORN IN
Please read or reread this article so that next time when Solomon Sesay says something you will know it is a candid evaluation of the available facts at the time. We will continue to reproduce several such articles as we evaluate the just concluded political season. Thanks for being a devoted reader and we promise to continue bringing you the best editorials on Sierra Leone politics. You have not yet read the best from Solomon Sesay. In order to help Sierra Leone achieve prosperity for everyone, yours truly is a voice you will be hearing from for years to come. Happy Holidays or as we say na Salone, Season’s Greetings. Did I hear you say, “And also to you”? Lonta!
March 27th 2012:- Predictions for November’s Presidential Elections
Figures do not lie. Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP do. Nevertheless, the total number of registered voters from the NEC unmistakably specifies a big win in the making for the incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma in November. As of 3/23/12, a total of two million five hundred forty thousand two hundred twenty-four (2,540,224) voters have registered. The lowest registrations were recorded in the South with barely four hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred and sixty (499,960) voters. The North on the other hand reported close to a million voters with eight hundred sixty-three thousand three hundred and fifty-nine (863,359) registered. This is the highest amongst the four Provinces and the Western Area.
These preliminary figures suggest that voters favoring the reelection of President Koroma are more energized than those reflexively dreaming about his defeat. In other words, Julius Maada Bio and his Satanic Lasmamy People’s Party lack the wherewithal to unseat the incumbent President Koroma. While supporters of President Koroma are optimistic about their chances to clinch a resounding second term victory in November, supporters of Maada Bio are pessimistic to the point of staying away from the electoral process. Political pundits know that voters who love their candidate are eager to come out and take part in the electioneering process. Those who are apathetic toward their candidate would in all likelihood become disengaged and stay at home. Let’s look at things from another perspective.
I dare say that Maada Bio and the SLPP have lot of grounds to cover but a dwindling body of voters to do so. Except the Satanic Lasmamy People’s Party believe that their voodoo and juju spells will work magic in the hearts and minds of the voting public, there is no way they can overcome a difference of nearly half a million voters (495384 to be exact) in the northwest. Yes in politics there are surprises and the unexpected is always possible. With the lopsided voters’ registration favoring President Koroma’s victory, and the ongoing trend of absconding Bio’s SLPP, the most likely out of the blue event is Julius Maada Bio receiving fewer votes even in South and or his hometown. Before you think this is farfetched, consider this:
While President Koroma’s message turn voters on, Maada Bio’s message is unattractive and a turnoff. President Koroma gained a huge political capital that he is comfortably cashing in on leading to November. Maada Bio does not have an up to date political capital that makes him a credible CEO of the Government of Sierra Leone; it’s all hype. Furthermore, the image he (Bio) has presented to Sierra Leoneans is that of a combat warrior and not a statesman with admirable political skills and clout. Bio’s campaign message is set in an era that is long gone. It is heavily focus on apprehensions, coercion, and the inclination to use violence as a means to Sierra Leone’s presidency. Sierra Leoneans are not willing to reverse the clock on the nation’s evolution only to accommodate Bio. This was a serious miscalculation on his part. They SLPP misjudged the people resolve to let the past be the past as the nation moves forward. In a nation still reeling from a brutal war, Bio presents himself as the candidate Sierra Leoneans should give the cold-shoulder treatment.
This is exactly what Sierra Leoneans are doing. It is marvelous to see Sierra Leoneans running away from Bio in embrace of President Koroma. Bio’s boo-boo has opened the eyes of many who do not like the APC, but love President Koroma’s leadership qualities. It is not by coincidence that even diehard members of the SLPP are beginning to talk about President Koroma’s accomplishments. Indirectly, this is their way of condemning Maada Bio. Because of his missteps, voters now see the good traits in President Koroma. Voters can also look at developments around the nation and say, “EBK is more suitable than Bio to construct the New Sierra Leone we wish for.” Leading to November, the desire for EBK to go on with his agenda is “the” overriding factor than the aspiration to replace him with mad Bio.
Taking into account all of the above, and the figures from the NEC, President Koroma is heading for reelection with nothing less than sixty-five percent 65% of the votes in November. It is probable that fifty percent 50% of votes in the south would be cast for Maada Bio. Given the low registration in the province, President Koroma would likely receive twenty percent 20% of the votes and the remaining 30% split among other parties. In the East, President Koroma would receive a stunning fifty percent 50% of the total votes while Bio split the second half with other parties. The Eastern Province is the only region where results would be too close to call in November. We must an eye on Kono, Kenema, and Kailahun; results in these districts will convince Bio to concede or clash. Bio would most likely make his last stand in Bo. In Bo Bio will crash and become conscious of the fact that President Koroma is the undisputed presidential choice of Sierra Leoneans.
President Koroma is the most favorable choice of seventy-five 75% of the voters in the West. Bio’s backbreaker would be the fact that ninety percent 90% of the North’s votes, are for President Koroma. Give or take a three percent 3% margin of error, President Koroma would likely win in November with approximately one million six hundred twenty-nine thousand (1629000) votes. Unless Bio and the SLPP adopt a new strategy, Bio is going to get nothing more than half a million (500,000) votes. These are conservative figures. They are subject to fine-tuning if political developments in Sierra Leone so detect. What is certain right now is that a runoff is definitely not in the picture because President Koroma is the clear-cut favorite to win convincingly in November. Lonta!