THE REVOLT OF THE ELITES: Addressing the Crisis of Democracy in Sierra Leone Through a Populist Movement

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by Mahmud Tim Kargbo

Sierra Leone socio-political landscape is marred by a growing sense of alienation and disenfranchisement among the general populace, as the country’s rogue elites continue to distance themselves from the mainstream of Sierra Leonean life. By leveraging their material and cultural power, these rogue political elites from the country’s two main political parties (SLPP and APC) have perpetuated a system of privilege and exclusion that undermines the democratic aspirations of the nation, exacerbating the crisis of democracy that shows no signs of abating. To address this fundamental rift and restore faith in the democratic process, a populist campaign against rogue elites in these two main political parties (SLPP and APC) is needed to champion the cause of the marginalised majority and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.

The concentration of power and influence in the hands of selected elites from the SLPP and APC has long cast a shadow over Sierra Leone’s democratic landscape, widening the gap between the privileged few and the marginalised many. As these rogue political elites from the SLPP and APC detach themselves from the everyday struggles and aspirations of their fellow citizens, they breed contempt and resentment, further entrenching social divisions and perpetuating a culture of exclusivity that undermines the principles of democracy and justice.

The crisis of democracy in Sierra Leone is a direct result of these rogue political elitist stranglehold on power and resources, which stifles social mobility, restricts political participation, and fosters a culture of impunity and corruption. As these political rogue elites amass wealth and privilege at the expense of the majority, they not only widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots but also erode the foundations of trust, accountability, and fairness in the country’s democratic institutions.

Resolving the crisis of democracy in Sierra Leone requires a bold and transformative approach that challenges the dominance of rogue elites in the SLPP and APC and empowers the voiceless and marginalised segments of society. A populist campaign that mobilises grassroots support, create tangible solutions to the grievances of the disenfranchised, and demands greater accountability and transparency from the ruling elites is essential to reinvigorate the democratic ethos of the nation and promote social justice and equality for all citizens.

By championing the cause of the marginalised majority and challenging the entrenched interests of the rogue elites few within the SLPP and APC, a populist movement can serve as a catalyst for change, injecting new energy, ideas, and perspectives into Sierra Leone’s political landscape. Through grassroots mobilisation, civic engagement, and advocacy for social and economic reforms, a populist campaign can galvanise public support for a more equitable and inclusive society that prioritises the needs and interests of the common people over the narrow agendas of the privileged few.

The crisis of democracy in Sierra Leone is a product of the political rogue elitist divide that separates the SLPP and APC ruling elites from the mainstream of Sierra Leoneans life, perpetuating a system of exclusion and marginalisation that undermines the principles of democracy and justice. To address this fundamental challenge and foster a more inclusive and participatory democracy, a populist movement against political rogue elites is needed to create concrete solutions for the marginalised majority, challenge the entrenched interests of the rogue ruling elites, and pave the way for a more equitable and democratic society for all citizens. Together, let us stand in solidarity with the marginalised and demand a more just, transparent, and accountable governance that serves the interests of the common people and upholds the democratic ideals of Sierra Leone.

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