Julius Maada Bio, the candidate from the Sierra Leone People’s Party, was sworn in as new the country’s president on 4 April 2018. In a tight runoff election, he received 51.8 % of the vote, defeating former foreign affairs minister Samura Kamara from the All People’s Congress. President Bio succeeds Ernest Bai Koroma who led the country for the past ten years. A former military leader who joined the armed forces in 1985, Bio has already ruled the country after taking part in a coup. He ruled for less than three months before handing power over to a civilian government in 1996. Bio then emigrated to the United States where he lived for a decade and obtained a master’s degree in international affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. Bio returned to Sierra Leone in 2008 and started a cocoa and coffee farming company. He ran for president in 2012 but lost against the incumbent, President Ernest Bai Koroma. Bio’s presidential campaign called for giving all citizens of Sierra Leone a better life, particularly through free education. Bio comes from the southern district of Bonthe. His career path has been compared to that of Nigerian President Buhari, who once ruled the country as a military leader and is now a democratically-elected president. President Bio is pursuing a doctorate in peace studies at the University of Bradford in England.
President of Sierra Leone