In 1964 Dr. Karefa-Smart hoped to succeed Sir Milton Margai as Prime Minister on the death of the latter. On this occasion, the SLPP in its wisdom and within its constitutional rights voted for Sir Albert Margai in preference to Karefa Smart refused to accept this democratic decision. He resigned from his party and started courting a relationship with the Opposition Party of Siaka Stevens, the All Peoples Congress (APC) as from that day. At the same time, he wrote to all the Paramount Chiefs of the Northern Province informing them of his new political relationship and urging them to transfer their allegiance to the Opposition Party. Karefa-Smart claims to have affinity with the Northern Province, of Sierra Leone. He did not relent in his efforts to revenge against Albert Margai until the latter fell from office in 1967.
When Siaka Stevens eventually became Prime Minister, Karefa-Smart hoped to be appointed to the vacant post of Governor-General as his reward for his support for Siaka Stevens. When his effort in this regard failed, he engineered a coup against Siaka Stevens in 1970. He escaped from custody to the United States where he remained until Siaka Stevens left office in 1985. His fellow coup plotters were tried and convicted. Some were executed. Others including Cpl. Foday Sankoh received terms of imprisonment. His present affiliation the coup of 25th May 1997 is therefore nothing strange to his nature or the people of Sierra Leone.