Showing posts from August, 2011

Yusuf Bangura: Reflections on the SLPP Convention 2011

Dark Clouds on the Horizon? Reflections on the SLPP Convention of 2011 By Yusuf Bangura The election of ex-junta leader Julius Maada Bio as flag bearer of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) for the 2012 presidential elections has sent shock waves around the country and in the Diaspora. Although Bio was one of the front-runners among a motley crowd of 19 aspirants, people with less partisan attachments had hoped that the delegates would settle for a less controversial figure with no history of violence and elect an executive that is inclusive. Unfortunately, it seems that the party has decided to narrow its political appeal to its core support base, which is the South and East of the country, and adopt a candidate with a troubling background. Before addressing the political implications of this choice, it is worth noting that the SLPP has always distinguished itself from the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) on the basis of its aversion to violence, respect for the law and regional