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Liberia: President Sirleaf Supports Reduction of Presidential Term

In contrast to her counterparts calling for an extension in office, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, the first woman African pre...

In contrast to her counterparts calling for an extension in office, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, the first woman African president has recently expressed support for the call by Liberians to reduce the presidential term of office from two six-year terms to two four-year terms.

A constitution review commission set up by Sirleaf recommended last year to reduce the number of years the president can serve. The commission also recommended the term of office for senators be reduced from the current nine years to six, and representatives from six to four years.

Information Minister, Lewis Brown said President Sirleaf’s support to change the presidential term to two four-year terms is part of her effort to build a democratic governance model that is transparent and that every Liberian can feel a part of.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 

“She has, in fact, written the legislature and she has asked to actually consider amending the presidential term to two four-year terms rather than what it is today which is two six-year terms. In effect, limiting the president to a maximum of eight years in office,” he said.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Burundian counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza are desperately seeking to extend their stay on the presidential seat, torching some protests. 

Under the current 1986 constitution, the president and vice president serve six-year terms, senators serve for nine years and members of the House of Representatives six years. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives can run for re-election for as many times as they wish as long they are elected by their constituents.

Paul Kagame 

“Well, if her example is anything to go by, then certainly it speaks to the fact that she will favour presidential term limit. Now, whether she is sending a message to the rest of Africa, I’m not in the position to say. 

And that we can deepen the institutional capacity of our society to build the kind of democratic governance model that is a bit more transparent, and a bit more accountable to the people,” Brown said.

Liberia’s Constitutional Review Conference approved several recommendations, including a provision making Liberia a ‘Christian’ nation.

A Man Burned Alive In Bujumbura, Burundi Capital During Violent Protests 

Brown said President Sirleaf supports dual citizenship because she feels the country would benefit economically.

The Liberian legislature, which returns to work next week from its summer break, will have to approve the term limits recommendations before they are put to a national referendum.

Liberia holds presidential election in 2017. - leadership magazine 

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