Who Will Be The Next President In 2023?
Judging by the current state of affairs, it is becoming clearer by the day that the ruling SLPP led government of President Bio may not have a second term in office, as the populace is tired of the failure of the government to deliver on its promises, with basic necessities, including the prices of food stuffs skyrocketing by the day, and the ever present blackout in the country that has rendered the private sector creeping. Whilst citizens are intimating that they will complain against the Bio government in the ballot box, many are wondering who the alternative to Bio will be.
The main opposition party, the APC has a huge following, but needs the cooperation of other small parties to enable it win the polls in 2023. In this regard, a group of other political parties have formed a consortium, the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP), with the sole aim of ousting the ruling party (SLPP), which it has accused of gross Human Rights violations, abuse of office, a much higher corruption rate and disregard for procedures etc. According to utterances, the COPPP seemed determined to support the main opposition party to win the 2023 elections, with a sign of this commitment displayed in the recent Bye-Election in Koya, where the NGC withdrew its candidate from the said election, thereby giving the APC the victory.
However, the problem is who will then be the Standard Bearer of the APC in the 2023 Presidential Election? Currently the two most popular individual are Dr. Samura Kamara and Chief Samuel Samsumana. The latter was the former Vice President of the party, but was kicked out after the party expelled him, whilst Dr. Samura Kamara was Minister holding various portfolios, notably, Minister of Finance. Currently Dr. Samura is in Court on Corruption related charges, a Court matter that many feel will go on till the APC Convention, and have the proclivity to debar him from leading the party. The second choice of the party is said to be the former VP, Samsumana, but whose popularity is only known in Kono than across the country.
Since the 2018 polls that was lost by Dr. Samura Kamara to President Bio, he has been engaging residents across the country, providing assistance where he can and encouraging victims of disaster to cope with life. His popularity rating has grown, and today, he is one of the most popular politician in the country. In the APC, Dr. Samura Kamara cuts across as the grassroots man, and is said to be the choice of the majority in the party, as well as other citizens. Many citizens are of the opinion that Dr. Samura Kamara is the lesser of the two evils. As an Economist, he is well placed to transform the country’s fortunes from the doldrums that it is today.
Some political analysts say that what the country needs now is not just any politician, but someone with a strong economic background to address the current economic problems in the country, and none of the current leaders fit in than Dr. Samura.
Some social commentators say that the failure of the Bio government to address the pressing problem if bread and butter issue has been his undoing, especially as he had promised to turn things around. To make matters worse, is the revelation in the Audit Report that massive corruption looms in the administration, with even fake hotel receipts discovered under the President’s nose at State House. This is also exacerbated by an ever increasing cost of living that has had its toll on the pocket of the ordinary man, as well as the erratic electricity supply that has rendered many private sector businesses redundant. This was further compounded by the increase in the pump price of petroleum products and a high tax regime against the business class, which is then passed on to the consumer via the Electronic Cash Register, a new revenue generation system that has become most unpopular with the masses, including businesses. All these have added to the already hardship that has become a popular cry of the citizenry.
It is situations like this that resulted in the formation of the COPPP, as it became apparent that dissenting voices became targets of arrests by the government. But what is of concern here is the arrangement that will be reached with the other parties in the consortium and the APC over positions. It is plain to see that the COPPP is ready to see the back of the Bio government, but will they be willing to accept a Samsumana Presidency? This is doubtful, but there are indications that a Samura Kamara Presidency may be acceptable, as he is considered by many as a very honest and truthful man, whose experience could be brought to bear in turning around the fortunes of the country, especially as there does not seem to be any track record of involvement in corrupt practices, though he is yet to be convicted on one.
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