List of heads of state of Sierra Leone

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sierra Leone

This is a list of the heads of state of Sierra Leone, from the independence of the Sierra Leone in 1961 to the present day.

From 1961 to 1971 the head of state under the Sierra Leone Independence Act 1961 was the Monarch, who was the same person as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and of the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in Sierra Leone by a List of heads of state of Sierra Leone#Governors-GeneralGovernor-General. Sierra Leone became a republic under the Constitution of 1971 and the monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.

Monarch (1961–1971)[edit]

The succession to the throne of Sierra Leone was the same as the succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

Monarch Reign Royal House Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II - 1953-Dress.JPG Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
27 April 1961 19 April 1971 9 years, 357 days House of Windsor Margai
Margai
Stevens

Governors-General[edit]

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in Sierra Leone and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Sierra Leone without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Governor-General Term of Office Monarch(s) Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Sir Maurice Henry Dorman
(1912–1993)
27 April 1961 5 May 1962 1 year, 8 days Elizabeth II Margai
2 No image.png Sir Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston
(1898–1969)
5 May 1962 27 April 1967
(Deposed)
5 years, 353 days Elizabeth II Margai
Margai
Stevens
3 No image.png Sir Banja Tejan-Sie
(1917–2000)
22 April 1968 31 March 1971 2 years, 343 days Elizabeth II Stevens
4 No image.png Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
31 March 1971 19 April 1971 19 days Elizabeth II Stevens

Military rule (1967–1968)[edit]

Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith
(1933–1996)
27 April 1967 18 April 1968
(Deposed)
357 days National Reformation Council
2 No image.png Brigadier John Amadu Bangura
(1930–1970)
18 April 1968 22 April 1968 4 days National Reformation Council

First Republic (1971–1992)[edit]

Under the 1971 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the President replaced the monarch as ceremonial head of state a year later an executive head of state. The President was elected by Parliament for a four-year term. The 1978 Constitution proclaimed Sierra Leone as a single-party state, then in 1991 a new Constitution was made to end the status as a single-party state. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of Office Political Party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
19 April 1971 21 April 1971 2 days Independent
2 No image.png Siaka Stevens
(1905–1988)
21 April 1971 28 November 1985 14 years, 221 days All People's Congress
3 Dr-joseph-saidu-momoh.jpg Joseph Saidu Momoh
(1937–2003)
28 November 1985 29 April 1992
(Deposed)
6 years, 153 days All People's Congress

Military rule (1992–1996)[edit]

Captain Yahya Kanu led a coup d'état which overthrown the President Momoh and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
4 No image.png Captain Yahya Kanu
(19??–1992)
30 April 1992 1 May 1992 1 day National Provisional Defense Council
5 No image.png Captain Valentine Strasser
(1967–)
1 May 1992 July 1992 3 years, 261 days National Provisional Defense Council
July 1992 17 January 1996
(Deposed)
Supreme Council of State
6 No image.png Brigadier Julius Maada Bio
(1964–)
17 January 1996 29 March 1996 72 days Supreme Council of State

Second Republic (1996–1997)[edit]

When the civilian government was restored so was the 1991 Constitution and in the 1996 elections the SLPP won the election for most seats in Parliament and the Presidential election. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of Office Political Party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
7 Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.jpg Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
29 March 1996 25 May 1997
(Deposed)
1 year, 57 days Sierra Leone People's Party

Military rule (1997–1998)[edit]

Major Johnny Koroma led a coup d'état which overthrown the President Kabbah and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
8 No image.png Major Johnny Paul Koroma
(1960–)
25 May 1997 12 February 1998
(Deposed)
263 days Armed Forces Revolutionary Council

Third Republic[edit]

The civilian government was restored so was the 1991 Constitution and the Members of Parliament and the President. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of Office Political Party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
9 Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.jpg Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
13 February 1998 17 September 2007 9 years, 216 days Sierra Leone People's Party
10 Ernest Bai Koroma.jpg Ernest Bai Koroma
(1953–)
17 September 2007 Incumbent 6 years, 312 days
(as of 26 July 2014)
All People's Congress

Living former heads of state[edit]

Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II 1961–1971 Queen of Sierra Leone 21 April 1926
Valentine Strasser 1992–1996 Military ruler 26 April 1967
Julius Maada Bio 1996 Military ruler 12 May 1964
Johnny Paul Koroma 1997–1998 Military ruler 9 May 1960

External links[edit]