List of heads of state of Sierra Leone

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Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.svg
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 Queen of Sierra Leone Elizabeth II, who was also the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in Sierra Leone by a Governor-General. Sierra Leone became a republic under the Constitution of 1971 and the Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an ceremonial President, a year later it became an executive Presidency.

Monarch (1961–1971)[edit]

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Monarch
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Reign Royal House Prime Minister(s)
Reign start Reign end
1 Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Portrait Herbert James Gunn.jpg 27 April 1961 19 April 1971 Windsor M. Margai
A. 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
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Monarch Prime Minister(s)
Took office Left office
1 Sir Maurice Henry Dorman
(1912–1993)
No image.png 27 April 1961 5 May 1962 Elizabeth II M. Margai
2 Sir Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston
(1898–1969)
No image.png 5 May 1962 11 July 1962 Elizabeth II M. Margai
Margai
Stevens
11 July 1962 23 March 1967
(deposed.)
3 Sir Banja Tejan-Sie
(1917–2000)
No image.png 22 March 1968 29 September 1970 Elizabeth II Stevens
29 September 1970 31 March 1971
Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
No image.png 31 March 1971 19 April 1971 Elizabeth II Stevens

Military rule (1967–1968)[edit]

Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Military
Took office Left office
Brigadier David Lansana
(1922–1975)
No image.svg 23 March 1967 25 March 1967 Military
Commissioner Leslie William Leigh
(1921–1980)
No image.svg 25 March 1967 28 March 1968 National Reformation Council
Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith
(1933–1996)
No image.svg 28 March 1967 18 April 1968
(deposed.)
National Reformation Council
Brigadier John Amadu Bangura
(1930–1970)
No image.svg 18 April 1968 22 April 1968 National Interim 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 the Presidency became an executive head of state, The President was elected by Parliament for a four-year term. The 1978 Constitution proclaimed Sierra Leone as a one-party state, the President was elected for a severn-year term and can only serve two terms, then in 1991 a new Constitution was made to end the status as a one-party state, the President now serves a five-year term and can only serve two terms. In the event of a vacancy the Vice-President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
President
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Elected Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Prime Minister(s)
Took office Left office
Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
No image.png 19 April 1971 21 April 1971 [1] Stevens
1 Siaka Stevens
(1905–1988)
21 April 1971 28 November 1985 All People's Congress Koroma
Kamara-Taylor
2 Joseph Saidu Momoh
(1937–2003)
Dr-joseph-saidu-momoh.jpg 28 November 1985 29 April 1992
(deposed.)
1985 All People's Congress

Military rule (1992–1996)[edit]

Captain Yahya Kanu led a coup d'état which overthrew President Momoh and his government, again dissolving all political parties and the Parliament.

Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Military
Took office Left office
3 Captain Yahya Kanu
(19??–1992)
No image.svg 30 April 1992 1 May 1992 National Provisional Defence Council
4 Captain Valentine Strasser
(1967–)
No image.png 1 May 1992 6 May 1992 National Provisional Ruling Council
6 May 1992 17 January 1996
(deposed.)
Supreme Council of State
5 Brigadier Julius Maada Bio
(1964–)
No image.svg 17 January 1996 29 March 1996 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
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Elected Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office
6 Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.jpg 29 March 1996 25 May 1997
(deposed.)
1996 Sierra Leone People's Party

Military rule (1997–1998)[edit]

Major Johnny Koroma led a coup d'état which overthrew President Kabbah and his government, dissolving all political parties and the Parliament.

Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Military
Took office Left office
7 Major Johnny Paul Koroma
(1960–2003?)
No image.svg 25 May 1997 12 February 1998
(deposed.)
Armed Forces Revolutionary Council

Second Republic (1998–present)[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
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Elected Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office
(6) Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.jpg 13 February 1998 17 September 2007 2002 Sierra Leone People's Party
8 Ernest Bai Koroma
(1953–)
Ernest Bai Koroma.jpg 17 September 2007 2007
2012
All People's Congress

Standards[edit]

Living former heads of state[edit]

There are three living former Sierra Leonian Heads of State:

Image Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Elizabeth II 1961–1971 Queen of Sierra Leone (1926-04-21) 21 April 1926 (age 91)
No image.svg Valentine Strasser 1992–1996 Military ruler (1967-04-26) 26 April 1967 (age 50)
No image.svg Julius Maada Bio 1996 Military ruler (1964-05-12) 12 May 1964 (age 53)

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Was Chief Justice of Sierra Leone