The Presidential Running mate of the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) Chief as Samuel Sam Sumana has lost his bid to become a Parliamentarian when he lost the parliamentary elections in constituency 20 (Kono).
Sumana who doubled his move to enter the main stream of governance in the country by not only going in as the Vice Presidential candidate for the APC, but also as the parliamentary candidate for constituency 20.
Unfortunately however Sam Sumana’s 7,959 votes could not guarantee him the seat as the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Tamba E. Kaigbanja polled 10,977 to beat him by 3,018 votes to clinch the seat.
This has fueled speculation about Sam Sumana’s popularity given the notion that he was expected to deliver Kono to the APC after being named as the running mate.
However according to APC spokesman Alpha Kanu, the Presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma is even more popular than the parliamentary candidates. Mr Kanu went further to indicate that the people of Kono voted more for Ernest Koroma than they voted for the parliamentary candidates.
Some other school of thought point out that for APC to have polled 40,908 as against SLPP’s 65,866 in the Presidential results given by the National Electoral Commission as of August 20 shows that indeed the APC made inroads in Kono considering the dismal results that APC got in the 1996 and 2002 elections.
Political analysts also point to the fact that since Sam Sumana is a Kono along with the wife of the APC leader then the Kono votes might very well shift to the APC in the event of a runoff.
However the question why the APC running mate also decided to run for a parliamentary seat continues be a puzzle. Was Mr Sumana not sure of his party winning the Presidential elections and therefore decided to institute an insurance policy by going for the parliamentary seat to give him more chances in entering the field of governance? Or is it as insiders suggest that he had already fielded his name for the Parliamentary seat before his leader revealed his desire for him to be the running mate?
However questioned whether it was proper for a running mate or Presidential candidate to vie for the two positions the NEC Chairperson, Dr Christiana Thorpe told Awoko, “it is all legal, it is his constitutional right to stand for the two offices and in any case if he wins both he will have to make his choice”
She also pointed out that if there is a vacancy for any of the Parliamentary seats “it is the Commission’s responsibility to conduct a By-election.”
The Presidential candidate of the People’s Liberation Party, Dr Kandeh Baba Conteh also stood for the Parliamentary seat in Constituency 101 (Western Urban).
Performing very badly in the Presidential race, there has not been any confirmation of the results in the constituency where he is vying for a parliamentary seat.
So far the APC has won 21 parliamentary seats and 8 of those from the Western area whilst the incumbent SLPP has won 10 seats, none from the Western Area and the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) which has emerged strongly as the third force, has bagged 4 seats while none of the other 4 parties have secured a single seat.