Sierra Leone Political System

Political system

Short for SL by Abbreviationfinder, Sierra Leone is a republic where the president has great power. With the interruption of four years of military rule in the 1990s, two parties have taken turns in ruling the country.

In the transition to civilian government in 1996, the 1991 Constitution (see Modern History), which, however, received several amendments and additions, was reintroduced by 2015. The executive power is exercised by the President, who is head of state and government as well as commander-in-chief. The president is elected in general elections for five years and can be re-elected; if they receive no more than half the votes, a second round of elections is held between the two main candidates. The voting age is 18 years.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Sierra Leone for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The legislative power lies with Parliament, which consists of a chamber of 124 members, of which 112 are elected in general elections for five years. Twelve places are reserved for the highest traditional chiefs. To get into Parliament, a party must get at least 12.5 percent of the vote in at least one of the country’s 14 constituencies.

Political parties

In Sierra Leone, there are a number of different political parties, but two of them have dominated politics for years. The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) gained power even before independence in 1961 and retained it until 1967. Subsequently, SLPP has also ruled from 1996-2007. The party is strongest among the Mende people in the southern part of the country. SLPP returned to power in 2018 when its candidate Julius Maada Bio won the presidential election. However, the party did not become the largest party in parliament.

The All People’s Congress (APC) ruled between 1967 and 1992 and resumed government power in 2007 under President Ernest Bai Koroma. However, he was not allowed to stand for re-election in 2018. However, APC presidential candidate Foreign Minister Samura Kamara lost in the second round. However, Koroma has stated that he intends to remain as party leader when his term as president expires. The party’s strongest attachment is among the tem- and limba people in the north.

The only party in addition to the two that were represented in parliament after the 2007 election was the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (People’s Movement for Democratic Change, PMDC), a SPLINTER PARTY from SLPP led by Charles Margai of the country’s most famous political family. In the 2012 election, the party did not enter parliament. Since then, several new party formed: Coalition for Change (Coalition for Change (C4C) led by the former Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, who was dismissed by the Koroma 2015. Democratic Alliance party (Alliance Democratic Party ADP) has been formed by another defector from APC Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray An even more recent party is the National Grand Coalition (National Grand Coalition, NGC) formed by Kandeh Yumkella, a defender from SLPP.

Prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections, 27 parties were deregistered because they had not accounted for their financial assets and expenses. A total of nine parties voted in the election, but only ACP and SLPP were elected. In the 2018 election, 16 parties were represented.

The future optimism that prevailed after the end of the war in 2002 was subdued. Prior to the 2007 elections, there was widespread dissatisfaction that living conditions had not improved significantly (see also Finance). Old regional contradictions between the two major parties also began to emerge, raising concerns that the country would be divided. APC mainly has its roots in the time groups and limba in the central and northern parts of the country, while SLPP is strongest among people in the south.

Several coup attempts and data on coup plans were reported after 2003, which was a reminder that the reclaimed democracy was fragile and that the problems behind the war were not resolved. Since then it has been quieter, but corruption is a continuing cause for concern.

Administratively, Sierra Leone is divided into three provinces as well as the so-called Western Area. These in turn consist of 12 districts and 147 “chiefdoms”, long ruled by traditional chieftains. A return to elected municipal councils took place in 2004. The chiefdom was considered primarily to favor a relatively limited circle of families who could enrich themselves. The dissatisfaction with these injustices was also one of the factors behind the civil war.

Sierra Leone Urban Population



A new law against corruption is adopted

Among other things, the penalties are tightened and the country’s highest politicians and officials are forced to account for their financial assets.


Concerns about local elections

The elections are conducted throughout the country but are disturbed by a lot of violence and unrest among the supporters of the dominant parties.


Large drug seizure

Police seize 600 kilos of cocaine from a private plane at Lungi International Airport. Six Latin Americans, one American and several Sierra Leonis are arrested. The seizure is one of the largest made in West Africa, where several countries have been transformed into drug transhipment stations from Latin America to Europe.