Sierra Leone is a republic, with a government modelled along constitutional democracy. The country is divided into four (4) administrative regions with fourteen (14) political districts; twelve in the three (3) provinces and two (2) in the western area. Government comprises the executive arm; the legislative arm and judiciary. In the executive arm, the Head of state is the President. In cabinet, there are Ministers of State appointed by the President with the approval of the House of Representatives (Parliament). The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term). In the legislative arm, there is a unicameral Parliament consisting of 124 seats; of which 112 members are elected by popular vote and 12 filled by Paramount Chiefs representing each of the 12 provincial districts.
The legal system is based on English Common Law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes. Universal suffrage is 18 years of age. The judicial arm consists of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, High Court and Magistrate Court.
Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth, African Union, ECOWAS, African Development Bank (AfDB), Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Along with Guinea and Liberia, Sierra Leone formed the Mano River Union (MRU)—designed to implement development projects and promote regional economic integration between the three nations.