Sierra Leone
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Yumkella has returned to his SLPP political roots to help Bio win 2023 elections

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 April 2023:

Dr Kandeh Yumkella who was once regarded by many in Sierra Leone as one of the few principled politicians left in the country, has now confounded even his fiercest critics this week after officially joining the Bio- led SLPP party, where he once campaigned and stood to become the party’s leader and presidential candidate in 2015.

Yumkella who admitted months ago that he was holding talks with the SLPP to form a coalition with his National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party, said this week that he is very happy with the outcome of the talks involving President Bio and Vice President Juldeh Jalloh.

Yumkella is expecting the alliance agreement to give him substantial say in President Bio’s “Right Direction” election manifesto campaign, ahead of elections on 24th June 2023.  Social media is awash with new joint SLPP/NGC logos and re-branding.

Yumkella said he and Bio have reached a crucial turning point in the country’s political history, where they will now put peace at the top of their political agenda, and set aside personal ambitions to build a better country.  “Together, we will make a difference and let’s continue to work towards a brighter future for Sierra Leone,” Yumkella vowed.

This is what Predsident Bio said:

But it is not clear what ministerial role Yumkella has been promised by President Bio. There are rumours he may become either the next Chief Minister, Foreign Minister, or Economic Development Minister, although some suspect Dr Jalloh may well take a back seat to allow Yumkella to become the next Vice President.

Given the unpredictability of Sierra Leone’s politics, anything is possible. But what is certain is that Dr Yumkella has now sold to the SLPP, his entire Kambia District where his NGC party swept the entire five parliamentary seats at the 2018 elections .

But political analysts are of the opinion that with the new District Block – Proportional Representation electoral system being used in 2023, and given the huge political inroads that the SLPP have made in Kambia since 2018, Maada Bio’s SLPP may not need Yumkella’s political capital to take a huge slice of the Kambia District in June 2023.

So where would that scenario leave any promise that President Bio has made to Dr Yumkella, who many in the top echelon of the SLPP still regard with the utmost suspicion, contempt and distrust?