Officially: Republic of Sierra Leone.
Seat of government: Freetown.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The parliament is elected in geographical constituencies, but with seats reserved for hereditary ethnic chiefs.
Governing party: All People’s Congress.
Head of government: Ernest Bai Koroma, APC, president.
Chief opposition parties: Sierra Leone People’s Party, led by Sumanoh Kapen; People’s Movement for Democratic Change, led by Charles Margai.
Recent history: The APC ran a one-party state from 1971 until overthrown in a 1992 coup, led by Valentine Strasser. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of the SLPP, first elected in 1996 after another coup deposed Strasser, was himself the subject of a coup in 1997 by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, led by Johnny Paul Koroma and allied to the Revolutionary United Front, a rebel group led by Foday Sankoh and noted for its atrocities, which controlled territory and important natural resources (specifically, diamonds). Kabbah was restored by ECOWAS in 1998, and reelected in UN-supervised elections in 2002, after the war with the RUF ended. In the 2007 election to replace Kabbah, Ernest Bai Koroma defeated Solomon Berewa of the SLPP in a runoff. Koroma was endorsed by Margai. The SLPP won a plurality in the parliament in 1996 but a large majority in 2002; the APC won a majority of elected seats in 2007. In the 2012 elections, Koroma was reelected president over Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP (who ousted Strasser), and the APC won a slight majority in the parliament.
FH: 3-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 4.71 (104), hybrid.
Updated: 2014 December 3.