The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone is the head of state and the head of government of Sierra Leone, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The President appoints and heads a Cabinet of ministers (including the Vice President), which must be approved by the Parliament. The President of Sierra Leone is addressed as His Excellency.

President Ernest Bai Koroma was elected President in 2007. He also contested in the 2002 presidential elections, and served as the leader of the parliamentary opposition from 2002 to 2007.

His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Leader of the All People's Congress (APC) and newly elected Head of State in Sierra Leone, is considered by his numerous followers all around Sierra Leone and in the Diaspora as The Hope of the Future.

Born October 2nd 1953 of APC pedigree in Makeni, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma is the eldest son of seven children. He attended the Sierra Leone Church primary School, Government Secondary School (Boys) Magburaka and Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He graduated in 1976 from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone following which he taught at the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni before joining the Sierra Leone National Insurance Company in 1978.

President Koroma moved over to the Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation (Ritcorp) in 1985 and became its Managing Director in 1988, a position he outstandingly held up to the March 2002 Elections.

H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma's followers will readily inform that he represents the grassroots of Sierra Leone and the disadvantaged and they constantly cite his unblemished and enviable public record.

Under his leadership, the APC swept virtually all the seats in the Western Area during the last Local Government Elections of 2004. This was in spite of the fact that some of the Old Guard of the APC dismissed his leadership as a matter of child's play. However, President Koroma's leadership style is a blend of old and new.

An astute business man and a Chartered Insurer, President Koroma is also a Fellow of the West African Insurance Institute (WAICA), an Associate of the Institute of Risk Management in the UK and a Member of the Institute of Directors in the UK.

President Ernest Bai Koroma holds an unblemished and enviable public record and spouts himself as a darling of democracy, the rule of law, human right, good governance, probity, freedom of the press, transparency and accountability. Indeed, his followers say he is not only a fine gentleman but also the hope for Sierra Leone's future.

Ernest Koroma was elected as the APC's Presidential Candidate for the 2002 Presidential Elections on 24th March 2002. Embattled by series of court case against his youthful leadership and executive and the 2002 APC Constitution, Koroma was eventually stripped off his dejure leadership of the APC by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone on the 22nd June 2005.

He was however again unanimously elected as Leader/ Chairman and Presidential Candidate of the APC at a National Delegates Conference in September 2005 and remained the Minority Leader in the Sierra Leone Parliament until his election this year.

President Ernest Koroma who will turn 54 years old next Tuesday October 2nd, was put forward by the All People's Congress as "the democratic hope for Sierra Leone" which they described as "a country at the cross road of change from the old order of despair to a young generation of visionary leadership of hope and development."

President Ernest Koroma is tall, handsome, with a 'leadership jaw' and a commanding presence. He is happily married to the beautiful and elegant Sia Nyama Koroma from Kono District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, ex-pupil of Annie Walsh Memorial school who holds a post-graduate degree in Bio-Chemistry from London University. His matrimonial blend transcends tribal and regional politics. Ernest Bai Koroma and Sia are blessed with two children, Alice and Dankay.

He has traveled extensively  to the world's leading democracies and beyond.

 

The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone vests the legislative power in the Parliament. While the President is a part of Parliament the Constitution specifies that no Minister or Deputy Minister will be part of Parliament.  The Parliament itself consists of a total of 124 seats, 112 directly elected members from single member constituencies and 12 Paramount Chiefs from the 12 Districts of Sierra Leone. 

The Parliament is headed by the Speaker who shall be elected by the Members of Parliament from among persons who are-

Members of Parliament and who had served as such for not less than five years; or Qualified to be Members of Parliament and who had served as such for not less than ten years”. And who are not less than forty years. (Amendment of section 79 of Act No 6 of 1991)In his absence, the Deputy Speaker who is elected from amongst the Members of Parliament presides over the sittings of the House.Following the elections of November 2012, the third after the end of the civil war, only two parties are represented, namely, the A.P.C. (All Peoples Congress) and the S.L.P.P. (Sierra Leone Peoples Party). As of now, the House has 82 first time MPs and 14 Women Members.

The Judiciary of Sierra Leone is the branch of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone which interprets and applies the laws of Sierra Leone to ensure impartial justice under law and to provide a mechanism for dispute resolution. The independence of the judiciary is guaranteed by the constitution.

The judicial system, headed by the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, comprises the inferior courts, represented by the Magistrates courts and the Local courts and the superior courts, represented by the High Court, the Court of appeal and the Supreme Court.

Magistrate's Court A Magistrate's Court exists for each judicial district with limited powers to do what is legally necessary to adjudicate on all civil and criminal matters arising within the district for which it is established. Such jurisdiction is exercised by the Magistrate duly appointed to the court.

Local Courts Local courts administer customary law in provincial communities outside the Western Area.

The High Court of Justice The High Court has supervisory jurisdiction over all inferior and traditional Courts in Sierra Leone.

The High Court consists of the Chief Justice and 9 puisne judges. A High Court hearing is duly constituted by any one judge of the High Court sitting with a jury.

The Court of Appea The Court of Appeal consists of the Chief Justice and not less than seven other justices. An Appeal Court hearing involves at least three justices of the Appeal Court. It hears appeals from lower courts.

The Supreme Court Main article: Supreme Court of Sierra Leone The Supreme Court has final jurisdiction in all civil, criminal, and constitutional cases within Sierra Leone and its decisions cannot be appealed. The Supreme Court has the exclusive constitutional power to overturn the rulings of lower courts within the jurisdiction. It also has exclusive original jurisdiction in matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of the constitution and on whether an enactment has been made by Parliament or any other authority or person in excess of their power under the Constitution.

It consists of the Chief Justice and not less than four other justices. A Supreme Court hearing comprises not less than three justices of the Supreme Court.

Courts Martial Courts Martial are empowered to try any person subject to military law, in addition to offences against the general law which are applicable to all persons who join the army. They can convened by the Force Commander or any General, Brigadier or Colonel or Officer of corresponding rank. A Court Martial consists of the President and not less than two other Officers, or in the trial of an Officer or Warrant Officer, no less than five other Officers.

Appointment of Judges The Chief Justice and Judges of the Superior Court are appointed by the President of Sierra Leone acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission subject to the approval of Parliament. They can retire after reaching the age of 60 but must retire at the age of 65. They may be removed from office at any time in the event of misconduct or infirmity.

Country Name:

  • conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
  • conventional short form: Sierra Leone
  • local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
  • local short form: Sierra Leone
  • etymology: the Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country "Serra Leoa" (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462

Government type:

presidential republic

Capital:

  • name: Freetown
  • geographic coordinates: 8 29 N, 13 14 W
  • time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*<

Independence:

27 April 1961 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 27 April (1961)

Constitution:

several previous; latest in effect 1 October 1991; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)

Legal system:

  • mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
  • International law organization participation:
  • has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship:

  • citizenship by birth: no
  • citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Sierra Leone
  • dual citizenship recognized: yes
  • residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

  • chief of state: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government head of government: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007)
  • cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president, approved by Parliament; the cabinet is responsible to the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 November 2012 (next to be on 7 March 2018) election results: Ernest Bai KOROMA reelected president; percent of vote - Ernest Bai KOROMA (APC) 58.7%, Julius Maada BIO (SLPP) 37.4%, other 3.9%

Legislative branch:

  • description: unicameral Parliament (124 seats; 112 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 12 seats filled in separate elections by non-partisan members of Parliament called "paramount chiefs;" members serve 5-year terms)
  • elections: last held on 17 November 2012 (next to be held on 7 March 2018)
  • election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 69, SLPP 43

Judicial branch:

  • highest court(s): Superior Court of Judicature (consists of the Supreme Court - at the apex - with the chief justice and 4 other judges, the Court of Appeal with the chief justice and 7 other judges, and the High Court of Justice with the chief justice and 9 other judges; note – the Judicature has jurisdiction in all civil, criminal, and constitutional matters
  • judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice and other judges of the Judicature appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (a 7-member independent body of judges, presidential appointees, and the Commission chairman) and subject to the approval of Parliament; all Judicature judges appointed until retirement at age 65
  • subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; District Appeals Court; local courts

Political parties and leaders:

  • All People's Congress or APC [Ernest Bai KOROMA]
  • Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Somano KAPEN]
  • numerous other parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: student unions; trade unions

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

  • chief of mission: Ambassador Bockari Kortu STEVENS (since 28 March 2008)
  • chancery: 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • telephone: [1] (202) 939-9261 through 9263
  • FAX: [1] (202) 483-1793

Diplomatic representation from the US:

  • chief of mission: Ambassador John HOOVER (since 4 November 4 December 2014))
  • embassy: Southridge-Hill Station, Freetown
  • mailing address: use embassy street address
  • telephone: [232] 99 1055 00
  • FAX: [232] 99 515 355

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of light green (top), white, and light blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown

National symbol(s):

lion; national colors: green, white, blue

National anthem:

  • name: "High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free"
  • lyrics/music: Clifford Nelson FYLE/John Joseph AKA
  • note: adopted 1961