It is quite tempting and a matter of pride and influence for anyone to be involved in the decision by the Flag Bearer in choosing a Running Mate or Vice President. However, the adage that says “too many cooks will spoil the soup”, can be testimony to the probability that varying interests can be difficult to satisfy.
If everyone’s demands and preferences were to be taken into consideration, its unlikely that the best decision will be achieved easily, because there will be too many recommendations and demands to consider. That is more of the reason why that decision should be left to one person…the Flag Bearer.
In most constitutional democracies, the option for the selection of a Running Mate or Vice President is a private decision based on four (4) reasons…two that are necessary for the FB, one that is necessary for the party, and one that is paramount to the state.
- The two main reasons necessary for the FB are:
(a). The need for the Flag Bearer to chose a person he or she can BEST WORK WITH, and be COMFORTABLE WITH.
(b). The need to chose somebody that the Flag Bearer can TRUST in his face, his back or in his absence.
- The third reason is one that is necessary for the Political Party. And that is, that the RM must bring something to the table including, name recognition, popularity, money and material resources that can help the party get votes especially in competitive regions.
- The fourth and very important reason is to have a qualified person that the country can DEPEND ON to carry out the duties of the presidency in the absence of the President.
In the last 20 years, each of the two terms of both the APC and SLPP governments have experienced the turn-over of their Vice Presidents, which almost led to political instability in the case of the APC VP turn-over.
The SLPP President, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, unseated VP Albert Joe Demby in the second term, replacing him with Solomon Berewa. APC President Ernest Koroma unseated VP Sam Sumana replacing him with Victor Bockarie Foh.
These events do not have to happen, since there can be unpredictable circumstances with possibility for a constitutional crisis that can lead to legal, civil and even political instability that can cost the country good governance.
In 2007, a lot was in the air about the Running Mate for the SLPP FB, Solomon Berewa. Word was that Berewa wanted Kanja Sessay for his Running Mate but Tejan Kabbah forced him to take Momodu Koroma. The two were never seen as a perfect duo who were politically in sync with each other in that election, and that was considered to be one of the reasons SLPP and Berewa lost.
Since the election of the SLPP FB, there has been lots of musings in the air about the Running Mate for the SLPP Flag Bearer, Maada Bio. My suggestion to all and sundry is that we all sit back in rational thought and leave that responsibility to Maada Bio and let him ask for help, suggestions and recommendations, rather than be dictated or forced upon him.
We the members should not make our decision to support the Flag Bearer based on him selecting our preferred Running Mate. Let us have an open mind and support his decision largely because of our party and the desire for the party to win in 2018.
REMEMBER THAT, FOR ANY SLPP MEMBER AND SUPPORTER, ANY SLPP “GOVERNMENT” IS BETTER THAN ANY APC GOVERNMENT. YOU ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE WELCOME AT THE SLPP STATE HOUSE THAN YOU WOULD UNDER AN APC GOVERNMENT…LET US SUPPORT OUR LEADER’S DECISION.