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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Elections in Sierra Leone
 
Political Profile
Political System: Democracy
President: Ernest Bai Koroma (APC) [since 17 September 2007; elected 2007, re-elected 2012] The President is elected by direct popular vote for a 5-year term. Electoral System: Two Round (Run-off). Note: A candidate must obtain at least 55% of the vote to avoid a second round.
House of Representatives [unicameral] (124 Seats) 112 members are elected by direct popular vote in single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post (simple majority) system; 12 Paramount Chiefs are indirectly elected to represent each provincial district; members serve 5-year terms.
Electoral Authority: National Electoral Commission
Political Situation since Independence
1961-1967 Democracy
1967-1968 Military Regime
1968-1971 Emerging Democracy
1971-1978 Restricted Democratic Practice
1978-1991 One Party State (APC)
1991-1992 Multiparty Transition
1992-1996 Military Regime
1996-1997 Emerging Democracy
1997-1998 Military Regime
1998-2002 Emerging Democracy
2002-        Democracy
2012 Freedom House Rating: Political Rights - 3, Civil Liberties - 3, Status: Partly Free
Next Scheduled Presidential Election: 2017
Next Scheduled National Assembly Election: 2017
Political Parties: APC - All People's Congress, CDP - Citizens Democratic Party, CPP - Convention People's Party, CUPP - Citizens United for Peace and Progress, DCP - Democratic Centre Party, DNP - Democratic National Party, GAP - Grand Alliance Party, MOP - Movement for Progress, NADP - National Alliance Democratic Party, NCSL - National Council of Sierra Leone, NDA - National Democratic Alliance, NPP - National People's Party, NUM - National Unity Movement, NUP - National Unity Party, PDP - People's Democratic Party, PLP - Peace and Liberation Party, PMDC - People's Movement for Democratic Change, PNC - People's National Convention, PPP - People's Progressive Party, RUFP - Revolutionary United Front Party, SDP - Social Democratic Party, SLIM - Sierra Leone Independence Movement, SLPIM - Sierra Leone Progressive Independence Movement, SLPP - Sierra Leone People's Party, UDM - United Democratic Movement, UNPP - United National People's Party, UPP - United Progressive Party, YPP - Young People's Party.
Coalitions: All People's Congress-Sierra Leone Progressive Independence Movement (APC-SLPIM) [Contested 1962 House of Representatives Election]
 
Election Results
 
 
Presidential
--Multiparty: 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012
--Single Party: 1985
Legislative
--Multiparty: 1957, 1962, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012
--Single Party: 1982, 1986
Constitutional Referendum: 1978, 1991
 
 
3 May 1957 Legislative Council Election*

Registered Voters

494,917

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Party % of Votes Number of Seats (39)**
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 45.7% 24
United Progressive Party (UPP) 12.6% 5
National Council of Sierra Leone (NCSL) 1.8% -
Sierra Leone Independence Movement (SLIM) 0.7% -
Others 1.7% -
Independents 37.5% 10
*In some parts of Sierra Leone, voting took place on 8 May and 13 May 1957.
**39 members were directly elected; an additional 12 seats were reserved for indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs.
 
25 May 1962 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

663,674

Party/[Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (62)*
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 230,118 34.67% 28
All People's Congress-Sierra Leone Progressive Independence Movement [APC-SLPIM] 149,172 22.48% 20

All People's Congress (APC) (114,333) (17.23%)
16
Sierra Leone Progressive Independence Movement (SLPIM) (34,839) (5.25%) 4
United Progressive Party (UPP) 1,660 0.25% -
Independents 282,724 42.60% 14
*62 members were directly elected; an additional 12 members were Paramount Chiefs who were indirectly elected on 23 May 1962.
 
17 March 1967 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

647,581

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (66)*
All People's Congress (APC) 286,585 44.25% 32
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 231,567 35.76% 28
Independents 129,429 19.99% 6
*66 members were directly elected; an additional 12 members were Paramount Chiefs who were indirectly elected on 21 March 1962.
 
Note: Sierra Leone became a republic following changes to the country's constitution on 19 April 1971. Siaka Stevens of the All People's Congress (APC) was subsequently elected President by the House of Representatives and took office on 21 April 1971. He was re-elected unopposed by the House of Representatives on 26 March 1976.
 
15 May 1973 House of Representatives Election*

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Party Number of Seats (85)**
All People's Congress (APC) 84
Independent 1
*The main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) boycotted the election and an overwhelming majority of All People's Congress (APC) candidates ran unopposed.
**85 members were directly elected; an additional 12 seats were reserved for indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs.
 
6 May 1977 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

686,810

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (85)*
All People's Congress (APC) 425,358 61.93% 62
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 205,976 29.99% 15
Democratic National Party (DNP) 478 0.07% -
Independents 54,998 8.01% -
Undecided** - - 8
*85 members were directly elected; 12 members were indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs and an additional 3 were presidential appointees.
**Elections were postponed in Bo District due to violence. On 19 September 1977, eight members of the All People's Congress (APC) were returned unopposed, increasing the party's share of seats to 70.
 
5-12 June 1978 Constitutional Referendum [Results by Province]
Main Points: Creation of a one-party, presidential republic

Registered Voters

2,235,400

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

2,215,646

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 2,152,460 97.15%
"No" Votes 63,186 2.85%
 
Single Party Elections
Sole Legal Party: All People's Congress (APC)
1 May 1982 House of Representatives (104 Seats; 85 directly elected, 12 indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs, and 7 presidential appointees)
1 October 1985 Presidential Election (Joseph Saidu Momoh elected unopposed)

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

2,784,591

"Yes" Votes

2,780,495 (99.85%)

"No" Votes

       4,096   (0.15%)

30 May 1986 House of Representatives Election (127 Seats; 105 directly elected, 12 indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs, and 10 presidential appointees)
 
23, 26, 28, & 30 August 1991 Constitutional Referendum
Main Points: Multiparty system, more powers for the legislature, division of powers.

Registered Voters

2,500,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

1,875,000 (approx.)

Results Number of Votes* % of Votes*
"Yes" Votes 1,500,000 80.00%
"No" Votes 375,000 20.00%
*The total number of votes cast as well as the percentage of "yes" and "no" votes are approximate. Other sources state differing rates of approval, but provide no figures.
 
February/March 1996 Presidential Election
First Round (26-27 February 1996)

Registered Voters

1,600,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 60%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

   745,511

Second Round (15 March 1996)

Registered Voters

1,600,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

1,022,754

Candidate (Party) First Round Second Round
Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Votes % of Votes
Ahmad Tejan Kabbah (SLPP) 266,893 35.80% 608,419 59.49%
John Karefa-Smart (UNPP) 168,666 22.62% 414,335 40.51%
Thaimu Bangura (PDP) 119,782 16.07% - -
John Karimu (NUP) 39,617 5.31% - -
Edward Turay (APC) 38,316 5.14% - -
Abu Aiah Koroma (DCP) 36,779 4.93% - -
Abass Bundu (PPP) 21,557 2.89% - -
Amadu Jalloh (NDA) 17,335 2.33% - -
Edward Kargbo (PNC) 15,798 2.12% - -
Desmond Luke (NUM) 7,918 1.06% - -
Andrew Lungay (SDP) 5,202 0.70% - -
Andrew Turay (NPP) 3,925 0.53% - -
Mohamed Sillah (NADP) 3,723 0.50% - -
 
26-27 February 1996 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

1,600,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

   746,764

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (68)*
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 269,486 36.09% 27
United National People's Party (UNPP) 161,618 21.64% 17
People's Democratic Party (PDP) 114,409 15.32% 12
All People's Congress (APC) 42,443 5.68% 5
National Unity Party (NUP) 39,280 5.26% 4
Democratic Centre Party (DCP) 35,624 4.77% 3
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 21,354 2.86% -
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 20,105 2.69% -
People's National Convention (PNC) 19,019 2.55% -
National Unity Movement (NUM) 8,884 1.19% -
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 5,900 0.79% -
National Alliance Democratic Party (NADP) 4,653 0.62% -
National People's Party (NPP) 3,989 0.53% -
*68 members were directly elected; an additional 12 seats were reserved for indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs.
 
14 May 2002 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

2,342,547

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

1,907,455

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Ahmad Tejan Kabbah (SLPP) 1,336,423 70.06%
Ernest Bai Koroma (APC) 426,405 22.35%
Johnny Paul Koroma (PLP) 57,233 3.00%
Alimamy Pallo Bangura (RUFP) 33,074 1.73%
John Karefa-Smart (UNPP) 19,847 1.04%
Raymond Kamara (GAP) 11,181 0.59%
Zainab Hawa Bangura (MOP) 10,406 0.55%
Raymond Bamidele Thompson (CUPP) 9,028 0.47%
Andrew Turay (YPP) 3,858 0.20%
*There are conflicting figures regarding this election, but the results that appear in the table above are the most reliable. A side-by-side comparison of the differing results can be found here.
 
14 May 2002 House of Representatives Election [Seats Won by Province & District]

Registered Voters

2,342,547

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (112)*
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 1,352,206 69.9% 83
All People's Congress (APC) 409,022 19.8% 27
Peace and Liberation Party (PLP) 69,778 3.6% 2
Grand Alliance Party (GAP) - 2.4% -
Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) - 2.2% -
United National People's Party (UNPP) - 1.3% -
People's Democratic Party (PDP) - 1.0% -
*112 members were directly elected; an additional 12 seats were reserved for indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs.
 
August/September 2007 Presidential Election
First Round (11 August 2007) [Results by Province & District]

Registered Voters

2,619,397

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

1,984,106 (75.8%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

   144,898

Total Valid Votes

1,839,208

Second Round (8 September 2007) [Results by Province & District]

Registered Voters

2,619,397

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

1,783,851 (68.1%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     43,793

Total Valid Votes

1,740,058

Candidate (Party) First Round Second Round
Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Votes % of Votes
Ernest Bai Koroma (APC) 815,523 44.34% 950,407 54.62%
Solomon Berewa (SLPP) 704,012 38.28% 789,651 45.38%
Charles Margai (PMDC) 255,499 13.89% - -
Andrew Turay (CPP) 28,610 1.56% - -
Amadu Jalloh (NDA) 17,748 0.96% - -
Kandeh Baba Conteh (PLP) 10,556 0.57% - -
Abdul Kady Karim (UNPP) 7,260 0.39% - -
 
11 August 2007 House of Representatives Election [Seats Won by Province & District]

Registered Voters

2,619,397

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

1,965,195 (75.0%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

   175,606

Total Valid Votes

1,789,589

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (112)*
All People's Congress (APC) 728,898 40.73% 59
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 707,608 39.54% 43
People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) 275,435 15.39% 10
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 31,388 1.75% -
Convention People's Party (CPP) 15,303 0.86% -
United National People's Party (UNPP) 14,078 0.79% -
Peace and Liberation Party (PLP) 6,752 0.38% -
Independents 10,127 0.57% -
*112 members were directly elected; an additional 12 seats were reserved for indirectly elected Paramount Chiefs.
 
17 November 2012 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

2,692,635

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

2,350,626 (87.3%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

   108,898

Total Valid Votes

2,241,728

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Ernest Bai Koroma (APC) 1,314,881 58.65%
Julius Maada Bio (SLPP) 837,517 37.36%
Charles Margai (PMDC) 28,944 1.29%
Joshua Albert Carew (CDP) 22,863 1.02%
Eldred Collins (RUFP) 12,993 0.58%
Gibrilla Kamara (PDP) 8,273 0.37%
Kandeh Baba Conteh (PLP) 6,144 0.27%
Mohamed Bangura (UDM) 5,069 0.23%
James Obai Fullah (UNPP) 5,044 0.23%
 
17 November 2012 House of Representatives Election