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SIERRA LEONE

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa . Sierra Leone has a tropical climate , with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests . Although English is the official language spoken at schools and government administration, the Krio language is the most widely spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 97% of the country's population. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully. Agriculture is the largest employer with 80 percent of the population working in the sector. Mineral exports remain the main currency earner. Sierra Leone is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds. Sierra Leone is officially a secular state , although Islam and Christianity are the two main religions in the country.

Political Profile/Structure/System

Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a unicameral parliament. The president is the head of state , the head of government and the commander-in-chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police . The president appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers, which must be approved by the Parliament. The president is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two five-year terms. The president is the highest and most influential position within the government of Sierra Leone. To be elected president of Sierra Leone, a candidate must gain at least 55% of the vote. If no candidate gets 55%, there is a second-round runoff between the top two candidates.

Elections and Political Parties

Sierra Leone held its general elections in 2007. There were 7 presidential candidates. The campaign was marred by some violence. There was some violence related to elections especially in the capital, Freetown , and the south-eastern cities of Bo Kenema and Koidu Town Observers gave the election a positive appraisal and placed voter turnout at more than 70%. In the first round of elections, Ernest Bai Koroma of All People's Congress lead with 44.34%. Solomon Berewa of Sierra Leone People's Party came in second with 38.28% vote. Since none of them reached the 55% mark, a second round of elections was held. Koroma won the second round with 54.62%. The most recent elections were held in 2012. There were at least 9 presidential candidates. The incumbent president Ernest Bai Koroma was nominated by the All People's Congress as their candidate. He was challenged by former President and general Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party . Koroma won the election with 57.8% of vote. The voter turnout was 87.3%.

By The Numbers

In 2012, there were 12.4% women in parliament..

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Participation and Inclusion

Has signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women