A political party is an organized group of people with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests. While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized and in how they operate, there are many differences, some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, many represent ideologies different from their ideology at the time the party was founded. Many countries, such as Germany and India, have several significant political parties, some nations have one-party systems, such as China and Cuba; the United States is in practice a two-party system but with many smaller parties participating and a high degree of autonomy for individual candidates. Political factions have existed in democratic societies since ancient times. Plato writes in his Republic on the formation of political cliques in Classical Athens, the tendency of Athenian citizens to vote according to factional loyalty rather than for the public good.
In the Roman Republic, Polybius coined the term ochlocracy to describe the tendency of politicians to mobilise popular factionalist sentiment against their political rivals. Factional politics remained a part of Roman political life through the Imperial period and beyond, the poet Juvenal coined the phrase "bread and circuses" to describe the political class pandering to the citizenry through diversionary entertainments rather than through arguments about policy. "Bread and circuses" survived as part of Byzantine political life - for example, the Nika revolt during the reign of Justinian was a riot between the "Blues" and the "Greens"—two chariot racing factions at the Hippodrome, who received patronage from different Senatorial factions and religious sects. The patricians who sponsored the Blues and the Greens competed with each other to hold grander games and public entertainments during electoral campaigns, in order to appeal to the citizenry of Constantinople; the first modern political factions, can be said to have originated in early modern Britain.
The first political factions, cohering around a basic, if fluid, set of principles, emerged from the Exclusion Crisis and Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. The Whigs supported Protestant constitutional monarchy against absolute rule, they were interested in the citizens of United Kingdom being free from the aristocracy and opposed to any tyranny, however they supported the constitutional aristocracy and does not consider the British nobility abusive because of its limits; the leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government in the period 1721–1742. As the century wore on, the factions began to adopt more coherent political tendencies as the interests of their power bases began to diverge; the Whig party's initial base of support from the great aristocratic families widened to include the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants. As well as championing constitutional monarchy with strict limits on the monarch's power, the Whigs adamantly opposed a Catholic king as a threat to liberty, believed in extending toleration to nonconformist Protestants, or dissenters.
A major influence on the Whigs were the liberal political ideas of John Locke, the concepts of universal rights employed by Locke and Algernon Sidney. Although the Tories were out of office for half a century, for most of this period the Tories retained party cohesion, with occasional hopes of regaining office at the accession of George II and the downfall of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in 1742, they acted as a united, though unavailing, opposition to Whig corruption and scandals. At times they cooperated with the "Opposition Whigs", Whigs who were in opposition to the Whig government, they regained power with the accession of George III in 1760 under Lord Bute. When they lost power, the old Whig leadership dissolved into a decade of factional chaos with distinct "Grenvillite", "Bedfordite", "Rockinghamite", "Chathamite" factions successively in power, all referring to themselves as "Whigs". Out of this chaos, the first distinctive parties emerged; the first such party was the Rockingham Whigs under the leadership of Charles Watson-Wentworth and the intellectual guidance of the political philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke laid out a philosophy that described the basic framework of the political party as "a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". As opposed to the instability of the earlier factions, which were tied to a particular leader and could disintegrate if removed from power, the party was centred around a set of core principles and remained out of power as a united opposition to government. A coalition including the Rockingham Whigs, led by the Earl of She
Senate of Liberia
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislative branch of Liberia, together with the House of Representatives comprises the Legislature of Liberia. Each of the fifteen counties are represented by two senators, elected to serve staggered nine-year terms; the Senate meets at the Capitol Building in Monrovia. The Senate is modeled on the United States Senate; the Constitution vests the legislative power of Liberia in both the Senate and the House, which must both concur on a bill prior to it being sent to the president. In addition, the Senate possesses several exclusive powers under the Constitution, including the power to advise and consent to the president's appointments to both the executive and judicial branches and the duty to try all public officials impeached by the House of Representatives; the Senate of Liberia, along with the House of Representatives, inherited the legislative powers of the Council of the Commonwealth of Liberia upon the country's Declaration of Independence in 1847.
Modeled on the United States Senate, the Liberian Senate contained two senators from each of the country's three counties, giving it a total membership of only six senators until the formation of Grand Cape Mount County in 1856 and the annexation of the Republic of Maryland in 1857. The Senate again grew with the incorporation of four counties in 1964, an additional four in 1984-1985. With the addition of the fifteenth county, Gbarpolu County, in 2000, the Senate reached its current membership of thirty senators; as a result of political turmoil in Liberia during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the Senate has been disbanded and reconstituted multiple times. Following the military coup d'état in 1980, the Senate was disbanded and several of its members executed, while its powers were vested in the People's Redemption Council. Upon the promulgation of the 1985 Constitution and subsequent 1985 general elections, the Senate was reconstituted, only to dissolve again upon the outbreak of the First Liberian Civil War in 1990.
Following a peace deal that ended the war, the Senate once again sat upon the successful holding of the 1997 general elections and remained constituted throughout the Second Liberian Civil War from 1999 to 2003. The Accra Peace Accords that ended the civil war transferred the powers of the Senate to the unicameral National Transitional Legislative Assembly of Liberia for two years, after which voters elected a new Senate in the 2005 general election; the Senate was dominated by the president's political party. From 1877 until the 1980 coup, the True Whig Party of the Americo-Liberian minority held a virtual monopoly on the national government, including all of the seats in the Senate. Samuel Doe's National Democratic Party of Liberia and Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party held large majorities in the Senate during their respective presidencies. Following the 2005 general elections, which were considered to be the most free and fair in Liberian history, a total of nine parties won seats in the Senate.
No single party won a majority of a first in Liberian political history. Article 30 of the Constitution sets four requirements for members of the Senate: 1) they must possess Liberian citizenship, 2) must be at least thirty years old, 3) must have been domiciled in the county which they represent for at least one year prior to their election, 4) must be a taxpayer. Under the 1847 Constitution, senators were required to own a certain value of real estate within their county, which in effect limited the ability of indigenous citizens to be elected to the Senate. Property ownership as a requirement for election was eliminated in the current Constitution. Article 83 of the 1985 Constitution established a two-round system for Senate elections, whereby if no candidate received a majority of the vote, a second election contested by the two candidates with the highest number of votes was held one month later; the Accra Peace Accord temporarily suspended this provision for the 2005 legislative elections, which utilized the First-past-the-post voting system.
In 2011, Article 83 was amended by referendum to require FTPT voting in all future legislative elections. The Constitution requires all senators to take an affirmation upon assuming their office; the Secretary of the Senate administers the oath to all senators on their first day of sitting in the Senate. The following oath is specified by the Constitution: Under the original 1847 Constitution, senators served a term of four years without term limits; the term length was increased to six-year by constitutional amendment in 1904. The draft 1985 Constitution set the terms of senators at eight years, though the length was changed to nine years by the military government prior to its ratification. Senatorial terms have been staggered under both constitutions, with two classes of senators being elected in alternating election years; the 2005 Senate elections reinstated this method, with each voter able to cast two ballots for separate candidates. The candidate with the highest number of votes was elected as a First Category senator, serving a nine-year term, followed by elections in 2014.
The candidate with the second-highest number of votes became a Second Category senator, serving an exceptional six-year term, followed by elections in 2011 for a normal nine-year term. Since 2011 elections are staggered whereby each county elects one senator another senator three years followed by a six-year period in which no senators are elected. In the event of a senator's death, ascension to a disqualifying office, incapacity or expulsion prior to the completion of his or her term, the Senate is required to notify the National Elections Commission within 30
Politics of Liberia
Politics of Liberia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic modeled on the government of the United States, whereby the President is the head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. Liberia is still in civil war to democracy. Liberia's government is based on the American model of a republic with three equal branches of government, though in reality the President of Liberia has been the dominant force in Liberian politics. Following the dissolution of the Republican Party in 1876, the True Whig Party dominated the Liberian government until the 1980 coup creating what was a one-party state. No party has majority control of the legislature; the longest serving president in Liberian history was William Tubman, serving from 1944 until his death in 1971. The shortest term was held by James Skivring Smith, interim president for all of two months. However, the political process from Liberia's founding in 1847, despite widespread corruption, was stable until the end of the First Republic in 1980.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Liberia as "hybrid regime" in 2018. Between 1980 and 2006, Liberia was governed by a series of transitional governments; the president of the last of these, Charles Taylor, was forced to step down in 2003, the United Nations installed a transitional government. Elections to select a government to replace the transitional government took place in October and November 2005.. In the 1980s, Samuel K. Doe's government adopted an ethnic outlook as members of his Krahn ethnic group soon dominated political and military life in Liberia; this caused a heightened level of ethnic tension leading to frequent hostilities between the politically and militarily dominant Krahns and other ethnic groups in the country. Political parties remained banned until 1984. Elections were held on 15 October 1985 in which Doe's National Democratic Party of Liberia was declared winner; the elections were characterized by widespread rigging. The period after the elections saw increased human rights abuses and ethnic tensions.
The standard of living, rising in the 1970s, declined drastically. On 12 November 1985, former Army Commanding General Thomas Quiwonkpa invaded Liberia by way of neighboring Sierra Leone and succeeded in toppling the government of Samuel Doe. Members of the Krahn-dominated Armed Forces of Liberia repelled Quiwonkpa's attack and executed him in Monrovia. On 24 December 1989, a small band of rebels led by Doe's former procurement chief, Charles Taylor invaded Liberia from Ivory Coast. Taylor and his National Patriotic Front rebels gained the support of Liberians because of the repressive nature of Samuel Doe and his government. Six months after the rebels first attacked, they had reached the outskirts of Monrovia; the First and Second Liberian Civil War, one of Africa's bloodiest, claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and further displaced a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries. The Economic Community of West African States intervened and succeeded in preventing Charles Taylor from capturing Monrovia.
Prince Johnson, a member of Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia but broke away because of policy differences, formed the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Johnson's forces captured and killed Doe on 9 September 1990. An Interim Government of National Unity was formed in Gambia under the auspices of ECOWAS in October 1990 and Dr. Amos Sawyer became President. Taylor refused to work with continued war. By 1992, several warring factions had emerged in the Liberian civil war, all of which were absorbed in the new transitional government. After several peace accords and declining military power, Taylor agreed to the formation of a five-man transitional government. After considerable progress in negotiations conducted by the United States, United Nations, Organization of African Unity, the Economic Community of West African States and demobilization of warring factions were hastily carried out and special elections were held on 19 July 1997 with Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Party emerging victorious.
Taylor won the election by a large majority because Liberians feared a return to war had Taylor lost. Unrest continued, by 2003, two rebel groups were challenging Taylor's control of the country. In August 2003, Taylor resigned and fled the country and vice-president Moses Blah became acting president. On August 18, 2003 the warring parties signed the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement which marked the political end of the conflict; the international community again intervened and helped set up a transitional government, led by Gyude Bryant until the Liberian general election of 2005. For more than a year, over 9,000 census-takers combed the densely forested nation mapping every structure. For three days starting 21 March 2008, they counted the inhabitants; the president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term. The cabinet is confirmed by the Senate. Liberia has a bicameral Legislature that consists of the Senate and the Hous
2005 Liberian general election
The 2005 Liberian general election was held on 11 October 2005, with a runoff election for the presidency held on 8 November of that year. The presidency, as well as all seats in the House of Representatives and Senate were up for election; the election marked the end of the political transition following Liberia's second civil war and had been stipulated in the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2003. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former World Bank employee and Liberian finance minister, won the presidential contest and became the first democratically elected female African head of state in January 2006; the election was the first held since the 1997 general election and the election of Charles Taylor and the National Patriotic Party. Frances Johnson-Morris, the chairwoman of the National Elections Commission, announced the October 11 date on February 7, 2005. Elections were scheduled for all 64 seats in the House of Representatives, with each of Liberia's 15 counties having at least two seats and the remaining seats allotted proportionally based on voter registration.
The Senate had 30 seats up for elections, with two from each county. Prior to the election, former football star George Weah was considered by many to be the favorite, due at least to widespread dissatisfaction with Liberia's politicians. Weah, the subject of a petition published in September 2004 urging him to run, announced his candidacy in mid-November 2004 and received a hero's welcome when he arrived in Monrovia in the month. Weah lost in the November 8, 2005 run-off, he filed formal fraud charges, but subsequently dropped his allegations, citing the interests of peace. The chairman of the transitional government, Gyude Bryant, other members of the transitional government did not run, according to the terms of the peace deal. On August 13, the election commission published a list of 22 presidential candidates who were cleared to run; the Senate seats were contested by 206 candidates and the seats in the lower house were contested by 503 candidates. Campaigning for the elections began on August 15.
In late September, the Supreme Court ruled that two excluded presidential candidates, Marcus Jones and Cornelius Hunter, an excluded legislative candidate could register to run. However, these candidates withdrew their bids, so the elections went ahead on schedule on October 11. Voting took place in 8 November. Twenty-two people contested the presidential race in the first round. George Weah, former soccer star and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former World Bank employee and finance minister finished first and second and advanced to the second round run-off, which Johnson-Sirleaf won 59%-41%, according to the National Electoral Commission. Weah claimed election fraud, stating elections officials were stuffing ballot boxes in Johnson-Sirleaf's favor. Most elections observers, including those from the United Nations, the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States, say that the election was clean and transparent; the Carter Center observed "minor irregularities" but no major problems.
Johnson-Sirleaf reminded the press that Weah has 72 hours to bring evidence of wrongdoing to her campaign according to Liberian law, calling the accusations "lies" and stating that Weah's supporters "just don't want a woman to be President in Africa." On December 22, 2005, Weah withdrew his protests, in January Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first democratically elected female Head of State in the history of the African Continent, the first native female African Head of State since Empress Zauditu, who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930 and not including Queen Elizabeth II who reigned over many Commonwealth countries upon their independence and still reigns as Queen of the United Kingdom over the Atlantic African Islands and British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. As no Senate existed prior to the elections, each voter was eligible to cast two ballots for different candidates; the two candidates with the highest number of votes in each county were elected. The candidate with the highest share of votes became the senior senator for the county, elected to a nine-year term.
The candidate with the second-highest share became the junior senator, elected to a six-year term. This method was chosen in order to reintroduce a staggered electoral system. Http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/13132018.htm http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,3-1866394,00.html National Elections Commission Liberia 2005: The Road to Democracy United Nations Mission in Liberia Electoral Division United Liberia - Latest News Press Freedom Conditions in Liberia - IFEX All Africa, Liberia news Nat Barnes for President Charles Brumskine Campaign Site Samuel Raymond Divine Campaign Site John Morlu for President Varney Sherman for President Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh for President Winston Tubman Campaign Site George Weah Campaign Site Congress for Democratic Change Unity Party I am woman, hear my roar Katharine Houreld on the participation of women in the 2005 Liberian election
Liberia the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest, it has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population; the country's capital and largest city is Monrovia. Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States; the country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U. S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U. S. and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement.
The black settlers carried their tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U. S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected as Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence. Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence, is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war efforts against Germany and in turn, the U. S. invested in considerable infrastructure in Liberia to help its war effort, which aided the country in modernizing and improving its major air transportation facilities. In addition, President William Tubman encouraged economic changes. Internationally, Liberia was a founding member of the League of Nations, United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity; the Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered those in communities of the more isolated "bush".
The colonial settlements were raided by the Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power, the indigenous tribesmen were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own lands until 1904, in a repetition of the United States' treatment of Native Americans; the Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples. Political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup in 1980 during which Tolbert was killed, marking the beginning of years-long political instability. Five years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars; these resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people, the displacement of many more, shrunk Liberia's economy by 90%. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President.
National infrastructure and basic social services have been impacted by previous conflict, with 83% of the population living below the international poverty line. The Pepper Coast known as the Grain Coast, has been inhabited by indigenous peoples of Africa at least as far back as the 12th century. Mende-speaking people expanded westward from the Sudan, forcing many smaller ethnic groups southward toward the Atlantic Ocean; the Dei, Kru and Kissi were some of the earliest documented peoples in the area. This influx of these groups was compounded by the decline of the Western Sudanic Mali Empire in 1375 and the Songhai Empire in 1591; the area now called Liberia was a part of the Kingdom of Koya from 1450 to 1898. As inland regions underwent desertification, inhabitants moved to the wetter coast; these new inhabitants brought skills such as cotton spinning, cloth weaving, iron smelting and sorghum cultivation, social and political institutions from the Mali and Songhai empires. Shortly after the Mane conquered the region, the Vai people of the former Mali Empire immigrated into the Grand Cape Mount County region.
The ethnic Kru opposed the influx of Vai, forming an alliance with the Mane to stop further influx of Vai. People along the coast built canoes and traded with other West Africans from Cap-Vert to the Gold Coast. Arab traders entered the region from the north, a long-established slave trade took captives to north and east Africa. Between 1461 and the late 17th century, Portuguese and British traders had contacts and trading posts in the region; the Portuguese named the area Costa da Pimenta but it came to be known as the Grain Coast, due to the abundance of melegueta pepper grains. European traders would barter goods with local people. In the United States there was a movement to resettle free-born blacks and freed slaves who faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement and the denial of civil and social privileges in the United States. Most whites and a small cadre of black nationalists believed that blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.
S. The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 in Washington, DC for this purpose by a group of prominent politicians and slaveholders, but its membership grew to include people who supported the abolition of slavery. Slaveholders wanted to get free people of color out of the South, where they were thought to threaten the stability of the slave societie