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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Electoral Institution
National Election Commission
Eligible Voting Population:
Minimum Voter's Age:
Political Regime

Elections in Sierra Leone are held on a national level to elect the President and the Unicameral Parliament. The President of Sierra Leone is elected using a modified two-round system, with a candidate having to receive more that 55% of the vote in the first round to be elected. If this is not achieved, a run-off will be held. Both the president and the members of Parliament are elected for five-year terms. The Parliament has 124 members, 112 elected through plurality vote in single-member constituencies and 12 members elected by indirect vote.

Number of Political Parties:


Number of Election Held
General elections : 6 (1985, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2018) Parliamentary elections : 18 (1924, 1929, 1934, 1939, 1943, 1951, 1957, 1962, 1967 1973, 1977, 1982, 1986, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2018) Referendums : 2 (1978, 1991)
When are the Next Elections?

General elections: 2023 Parliamentary elections: 2023

Sierra Leone became independent on 27 April 1961. At independence, two main parties shared the votes in a multiparty political system. First in office was the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) during 1962-67 under Sir Milton Margai. The 1967 elections were won by the All People’s Congress (APC) under Dr Siaka Stevens. Almost immediately, Stevens was arrested in a coup, followed days later by another army coup which imposed military rule until the next year. Then, after a further coup, Stevens was reinstated as prime minister. In 1971, the country became a republic with Stevens as executive president. The general election of 1973 was boycotted by the SLPP and easily won by the APC, which also won the following elections in 1977 after a campaign which sparked violence. In 1978 the country became a one-party state, led by the ruling APC. Single-party elections in 1982 were once again violent. In 1985 Major-General Joseph Momoh succeeded Stevens as president. By the end of the 1980s, economic conditions were continuing to deteriorate and there was a growing demand for constitutional reform. The government responded by setting up a constitutional review commission. The commission’s recommendation of a return to a multiparty democratic system was overwhelmingly endorsed in a referendum in August 1991.34 A new constitution was adopted, allowing for a transition towards multiparty elections. Political parties started to register in preparation for elections.

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