The kernel of this piece is the tight lip currently applied on the APC Flag Bearer issue. Let me straight away make it clear that the days when party issues were the exclusive domain of card carrying party members are over. As they say structure is related to function. The nature of a party reflects on the type of governance it can provide for the country. We all know that the country lost a Vice President of some seven years standing partly because his party expelled him. The other point is that an undemocratic Party is not expected to provide democratic national governance. Simply put you cannot give what you do not have.
Before moving on, let me make one thing clear that there are people, including me who sometimes vote for candidates in more than one party. This frees the conscience from the guilt of voting for the wrong candidate simply because of belonging to a particular party. Call it liberated voting. One other thing is that at voting time, holding a party card is not a criterion. When a President wins, he or she is president for the entire country. This is why some of us are concerned about what happens in all political parties.
Now to some analysis. In first place, the APC II keeps its Late First Presidents shadow clearly around. Pa Shaki clearly left some infrastructures in his name, edifices that his party can point to as achievements. I can remember around 1979 when the Stadium was opened it was a national affair with every fanfare one could expect within a one Party system. Perhaps the most spectacular opening ceremony of the Aberdeen Bridge. You know the Chinese found it difficult to complete the bridge because of alleged genies being going in the way of completion. What the Chinese did was to work at night under heavy flood lights, perhaps to bling the genies. How they did it, we do not know but the bridge was completed. Pa Sheki in his usual humor said “The debul feint late, ehn we bil de bridge mah!” on the infrastructure issue, President Koroma has taken after Late President Siaka Stevens. Please do not ask me how?
Now back to the Flag Bearer issue. We all saw the confusion over the issue especially in the SLPP, before, during and after the flag bearer elections. Know how the PMDC emerged and how they crippled the SLPP from which they are still struggling to recover.
Over a year ago, some names in the APC were showing up for Flag Bearership. No sooner the press started talking than the issue fizzled out as if it was made taboo within the party. To seal this months later, the celebrated More Time campaign which itself had to be given up after several support actions from mainly party stalwarts. Thank God that chapter is over.
After the sacking of the former vice President, a new one was appointed in the person of Dr Victor Foh. Like I said earlier our political parties have always tried to keep a regional balance especially when it comes to the President and the Vice. What makes it interesting this time round is that the Current Vice President is from the south and by all indications; he is highly eligible, at least by party standards. The questions are: Will he be put forward for the Flag bearer position? Will it be easy for him to be denied? If he is accepted, is the APC ready to present a Southern candidate for Presidency; rather will he be in for the Running Mate position? These are questions the party has to ask. Well the earlier we start hearing murmurs from the party on these issues, perhaps the better.
One thing people need to get clear is that the elections in 2018 are actually taking place in February. We all know that January is normally not the best of months for work after Christmas. What I am saying here is that we should not really count 2018. We are actually left with the rest of 2016 and 2017. Given that real politicking will start long before the end of 2017, we really do not have time on our side. When NEC comes out with its full time table, I just hope we will not be caught with our political pants down.
The APC’s current cyborg game on their flag bearer issue may boomerang if not tactfully managed. The 2018 elections are very critical as a party has done two terms in a row. What we wait to see if the APC will win and break the current pattern. If the APC wins, what will it show? There are other questions but those will have to wait for another piece.
Recently The ADP had their convention and the leader said their party was the opposition party because among other things they are the party that had kept the ruling party on her toes and demanding accountability. Well, when the bird is alive, it eats ants, when the bird dies, the ants eats it. Strange world, do you say?