Patronage and Ethnic Divisions Hobble Sierra Leone’s Political Parties

A banana seller walks past election posters, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Nov. 19, 2012 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).
A banana seller walks past election posters, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Nov. 19, 2012 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).
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In late April, on Sierra Leone’s independence day, police raided the headquarters of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, firing shots and arresting supporters. In an email interview, Jimmy Kandeh, a professor at the University of Richmond, discussed the state of the opposition and domestic politics in Sierra Leone. WPR: What are the opposition parties in Sierra Leone, and how broad is their support across the country? Jimmy Kandeh: The main opposition party in Sierra Leone is the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), which, like the incumbent All People’s Congress (APC), is a blatantly corrupt patronage outfit. Founded in 1951, […]

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