ACCORDING TO REPUTABLE ANALYSIS FROM SIDIE SHERIFF, ERNEST BAI KOROMA IS THE GREAT DIVIDER!
GAPS BETWEEN WINNER AND LOSER ACROSS THE PAST FOUR ELECTIONS IN SIERRA LEONE
The WIDEST victory gap in a presidential election which Sierra Leone has experienced since multipartyism returned was in 2002 when Ahmed Tejan Kabbah led Ernest Bai Koroma by 47.7% of the votes.
The NARROWEST victory gap in a presidential election which Sierra Leone has experienced since multipartyism returned was in 2007 when Ernest Bai Koroma led Solomon Berewa by 4.82% of the votes.
Next in the NARROWNESS of victory gaps was in 2012 when Ernest Bai Koroma led Julius Maada Bio by 13.3% of the votes.
Next to the Koroma/Bio gap was the LESS NARROW Kabbah/Kerefa-Smart gap of 1996 which was an 18.5% lead by Kabbah over Smart.
The two presidential elections which Ernest Bai Koroma contested in 2007 and 2012 were won by MORE NARROWER VICTORY MARGINS than the two presidential elections which Ahmed Tejan Kabbah contested in 1996 and 2002. Of course, the context of each of the four elections was different. No two of them were the same in context. Northwestern bloc votes were most divided in 1996 and southeastern bloc votes were most divided in 2007. In 2002, almost all regions and tribes in the country united behind one candidate, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. In 2012, almost all regions and tribes in the country divided behind two candidates (Bio and Koroma).
It can be summed that Kabbah’s “gravitas” to UNITE regions and tribes across Sierra Leone is directly proportional to Koroma’s “gravitas” to DIVIDE regions and tribes across Sierra Leone. In terms of voice in decision making, southeastern backed Kabbah made far more overtures to the northwest than northwestern backed Koroma did to the southeast.
Except if the election is rigged, the scenario in 2018 will be tripolar where almost all regions in the country will be divided among three or more candidates with an evenness that Sierra Leone has never seen before. In other words, 2018 will experience narrower victory margins that tend towards resulting into the “one third” effect – where all three first-round winners will each capture nearly ONE-THIRD of the votes, with pluses and minuses of course. I foresee single-digit victory margins in 2018’s first round polls for the president.
Editor’s Note: This story is culled from the Facebook page of Sidie Sheriff, a reputable Social Scientist with a razor sharp mind for analyzing contemporary social and economic issues with stints of historical perspectives on social media.