Category : National Branch

Seat of Parliament: Freetown

Population: 5,363,669

Constitution: Republic

Date of Independence: 27 Apr 1961

CPA Branch Formed: 01 Jan 1952

Voting Age: 18

Branch Profile:

Background: 1991, Independent within the Commonwealth since April 1961, Sierra Leone became a republic in 1971, and a one-party state in 1978. The planned transition to a multiparty democracy under a new 1991 Constitution was halted by a military coup in April 1992. The military head of state Capt. Valentine Strasser was deposed in January 1996 and the subsequent elections, in which Ahmed Tejan Kabbah was elected president, took place under the provisions of the Constitution of 1991. The process was overshadowed by the civil war under way since the launching of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in late 1990. A coup on 25 May 1997, set up a new military government but this was ousted, and Kabbah restored to office, by a Nigerian-led regional peacekeeping force in early 1998. The Lomé peace accord in July 1999 created a power-sharing structure under which RUF members were brought into the government, but violence continued, despite the efforts of a UN peacekeeping force. During 2000 a temporary UK military intervention repelled the RUF forces advancing upon Freetown. Peace negotiations held in Nigeria between the government and the RUF led to a ceasefire on 16 May 2001, and elections were held a year later. Legislature: The legislature is unicameral. The sole chamber, the Parliament, has 112 members directly elected for a five-year term, and 12 indirectly elected to represent the 12 provincial districts. Political makeup of government: Ernest Bai Koroma, leader of the All People?s Congress (APC), won the presidential elections of 2007 in the second round. In the 2007 legislative election the APC won 59 of 124 seats in Parliament, while the Sierra Leone People?s Party (SLPP), in power since 2002, only won 43 seats. Koroma named the first ten members of his cabinet on 8 October 2007. A further ten were named on 16 October; the final cabinet included four members of the People?s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). The minister for transport and aviation was dismissed on 4 August 2008 after his brother was arrested and accused of drug trafficking. The cabinet was reshuffled on 27 February 2009. Source: