Politics of Sierra Leone


Politics of Sierra Leone

Politics of Sierra Leone takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Sierra Leone is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the House of Representatives. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Civil rights and freedom of religion are respected. A critical press continues to operate, although the government has intervened for alleged inaccurate reporting, using the 1965 Public Order Act which criminalizes libel.

Executive

"See also: Heads of Government of Sierra Leone"
President
Ernest Bai Koroma
APC
17 September 2007,
-
Vice-President
Samuel Sam-Sumana
APC
17 September 2007The President is Ernest Bai Koroma (since 17 September 2007. The president is both the head of state and head of government. Ministers of State are appointed by the president with the approval of the House of Representatives; the cabinet is responsible to the president. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections were last held 08 September 2007 (Ernest Bai Koroma, APC, 54.6%; Solomon Berewa, SLPP, 45.4%). The president's tenure of office is limited to two five-year terms.

Legislative

The House of Representatives has 124 members, 112 members elected for a four year term through proportional representation in 14 multi-seat constituencies with a constituency threshold of 12.5 % and 12 Paramount chiefs.

Political parties and elections

The next parliamentary and presidential elections in Sierra Leone will take place on August 11, 2007.

Judiciary

There is a High Court, an Appeals Court, and a Supreme Court. The judicial system continues to function for civil cases though some regard it as handicapped by shortages of resources and qualified personnel. Judges are appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission with the approval of Parliament.

There also are magistrate and local courts and from these appeals lie to the superior courts of judicature.

The 1991 constitution created an ombudsman responsible for looking into complaints of abuses and capricious acts on the part of public officials. In 2000 the government promulgated the Anti-Corruption Act to combat corruption.

Local government

Traditionally, the basic unit of local government outside of Freetown is the chiefdom, headed by a paramount chief. Since 2004, each of the 13 districts and 6 major cities (Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Koidu and Bonthe) has an elected Local Council which is the highest political authority in the district / city.

External links

* [http://www.statehouse.sl/ Office of the Sierra Leone President]
* [http://www.sierra-leone.org/govt.html Sierra Leone Government]
* [http://www.sc-sl.org/ Special Court for Sierra Leone]
* [http://www.trcsierraleone.org Truth and Reconciliation Commission]

Elections

* [http://africanelections.tripod.com/sl.html African Elections Database]


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