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With Elections Fast Approaching, There Are Clear Signs That Sierra Leone’s Political Discourse Is Growing Up

March 7 2018 is D-day for Sierra Leone’s electorate. The country will go to the polls and vote for new representatives – MPs, mayors, councillors, district council chairs and of course, a president who will determine our future for the next five years.

Sierra Leone has had over a decade and a half of peace, nevertheless when we hold elections, the rest of the world still looks at us warily. To a certain extent they have a point - the stability, reputation and growth of our very fragile economy depends on us getting it right.

On the face of it, Sierra Leone’s political landscape is still dominated by a mixed bag of Machiavellian smear tactics, party switching politicians, vote buying and overblown rhetoric.

Underneath however there is the sense that Sierra Leoneans expect more from these elections than the usual ethnic politics; and there have been notable efforts by civil society organisations, the media, the voting public and some candidates to reconfigure the discourse with genuine political information.

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