List of heads of state of Sierra Leone

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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 Constitution of 1961 was the Queen of Sierra Leone Elizabeth II, who was also the Queen 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 within the Commonwealth 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.

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Reign Royal House Prime minister(s)
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–2022)
27 April 1961 19 April 1971 9 years, 357 days Windsor M. Margai
A. Margai
Stevens

Governor-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. Since Sierra Leone was granted independence by the Sierra Leone Independence Act 1961, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous dominion and later promoted to independence as defined by the Statute of Westminster 1931, the governor-general was to be always appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Sierra Leone without the involvement of the British government, with the sole exception of Maurice Henry Dorman, the former colonial governor, who served as governor-general temporarily until he was replaced by Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston. In the event of a vacancy the chief justice would have served as the officer administering the government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch Prime minister(s)
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Sir Maurice Henry Dorman
(1912–1993)
27 April 1961 5 May 1962 1 year, 8 days Elizabeth II M. Margai
2 Sir Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston
(1898–1969)
5 May 1962 11 July 1962 4 years, 322 days M. Margai
Margai
Stevens
11 July 1962 23 March 1967
(deposed)
3 Sir Banja Tejan-Sie
(1917–2000)
22 March 1968 29 September 1970 3 years, 9 days Stevens
29 September 1970 31 March 1971
Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
31 March 1971 19 April 1971 19 days

Military rule (1967–1968)[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
Brigadier David Lansana
(1922–1975)
23 March 1967 23 March 1967
(deposed)
2 days Military
Commissioner Leslie William Leigh
(1921–1980)
Chairman of the NRC
25 March 1967 28 March 1967 3 days Military
Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith
(1931–1996)
Chairman of the NRC
28 March 1967 18 April 1968
(deposed.)
1 year, 21 days Military
Brigadier John Amadu Bangura
(1930–1970)
Chairman of the NIC
18 April 1968 22 April 1968 4 days Military

First Republic (1971–1992)[edit]

Under the Constitution of 1971, 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 seven-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 Chief Justice acting as President
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party Prime minister(s)
Took office Left office Time in office
Christopher Okoro Cole
(1921–1990)
19 April 1971 21 April 1971 2 days [1] Stevens
1 Siaka Stevens
(1905–1988)
21 April 1971 28 November 1985
(retired.)
14 years, 221 days All People's Congress Koroma[citation needed]
Kamara-Taylor[citation needed]
2 Joseph Saidu Momoh
(1937–2003)
1985 28 November 1985 29 April 1992
(deposed.)
6 years, 153 days All People's Congress Position abolished

Military rule (1992–1996)[edit]

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

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
3 Captain Yahya Kanu
(died 1992)
Chairman of the NPDC
29 April 1992 1 May 1992
(deposed)
2 days Military
4 Captain Valentine Strasser
(born 1967)
Chairman of the NPRC
1 May 1992 16 January 1996
(deposed.)
3 years, 260 days Military
Chairman of the SCS
from 6 May 1996
5 Brigadier Julius Maada Bio
(born 1964)
Chairman of the SCS
16 January 1996 29 March 1996 73 days Military

Second Republic (1996–1997)[edit]

When the civilian government was restored so was the Constitution of 1991 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
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
6 Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
1996 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 overthrew President Kabbah and his government, dissolving all political parties and the Parliament.

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
7 Major Johnny Paul Koroma
(1960–2003)
Chairman of the AFRC
25 May 1997 12 February 1998
(deposed.)
263 days Military

Third Republic (1998–present)[edit]

The civilian government was restored, as was the Constitution of 1991 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
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(6) Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
(1932–2014)
2002 13 February 1998 17 September 2007 9 years, 216 days Sierra Leone People's Party
8 Ernest Bai Koroma
(born 1953)
2007
2012
17 September 2007 4 April 2018 10 years, 199 days All People's Congress
(5) Julius Maada Bio
(born 1964)
2018
2023
4 April 2018 Incumbent 5 years, 333 days Sierra Leone People's Party

Timeline since 1971[edit]

Ernest Bai KoromaJohnny Paul KoromaAhmad Tejan KabbahJulius Maada BioValentine StrasserYahya KanuJoseph Saidu MomohSiaka StevensChristopher Okoro Cole

Standards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Was Chief Justice of Sierra Leone

External links[edit]