Despite the economic crisis, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has a good chance of being re-elected. In particular thanks to the disagreement which reigns within the opposition.
Julius Maada Bio is a president with a somewhat particular profile. Before being appointed to the highest office by the voters of Serra Leone, he had, in 1996, presided over his country after a coup d'etat. Number 2 of the ruling junta at the time, he overthrew Captain Valentine Strasser and relaunched democracy in just two months, after restoring the multiparty system.
After trying to run for the presidency of the Republic in 2012, Julius Maada Bio finally achieved his goals in 2018. He was then invested by the People's Party of Sierra Leone to participate in the presidential election which he had won. with 51,8% of the votes.
The opposition fails to put itself in working order
This year, Julius Maada Bio will try to run for a second term, the limit imposed by the Constitution of Sierra Leone. With what balance? In terms of international diplomacy, Bio tried to make his voice heard in the Malian file. At the national level, Sierra Leone faces a crisis equivalent to that of many other African countries. Threatened by the food crisis, the small English-speaking country of barely 7 million inhabitants obtained aid in 2022, in particular from the African Development Fund and the African Development Bank. Objective: achieve self-sufficiency in the rice sector.
But food prices are a real thorn in the incumbent president's side. Six months ago, the people of Sierra Leone took to the streets for a series of demonstrations whose results were terrible: several civilians and police officers died, Bio even had to decree a curfew.
Faced with this increasingly strong protest, the opposition organized itself for the presidential election. The leaders of fifteen opposition parties have indeed discussed the idea of investing a single candidate for the election of June 24, 2023. But the opposition parties have not yet managed to agree, and this could therefore benefit Julius Maada Bio. In the event of a disagreement on the creation of a grand coalition, there is no doubt that the outgoing head of state will begin a second and final term in the middle of the year.