Sierra Leone: A Vote for Better Governance

Issue Date January 2008
Volume 19
Issue 1
Page Numbers 70-83
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Sierra Leone recently emerged from a decade of brutal civil war. In 2007, five years after the end of the conflict, Sierra Leone held its most open and fair political contest to date, resulting in a rare ruling party upset. Dissatisfaction with the party’s peacetime management explains the defeat suffered by the SLPP, which made scant progress in addressing corruption, mismanagement, and marginalization. While the vote gives hope that Sierra Leone and similar postconflict countries can regain their democratic footing, the new leadership must address the country’s endemic problems or risk renewed conflict.