Constitution of Liberia
The Constitution of Liberia is the supreme law of the Republic of Liberia. The current constitution, which came into force on 6 January 1986, replaced the Liberian Constitution of 1847, in force since the independence of Liberia. Much like the 1847 Constitution, the Constitution creates a system of government modeled on the Federal Government of the United States. Following the overthrow and execution of President William Tolbert by a small group of soldiers led by Samuel Doe on April 12, 1980, the 1847 Constitution was suspended and governing power was assumed by the People's Redemption Council led by Doe. Doe refused to assume the presidency, instead ruling by decree as the Chairman of the PRC. On April 12, 1981, Amos Sawyer, a political science professor at the University of Liberia, was appointed Chairman of the National Constitution Committee, a 25-member body tasked with drafting a new constitution. In December 1982, the Committee finished their draft constitution, submitted it to the People's Redemption Council in March 1983.
The PRC appointed a 59-member Constitutional Advisory Committee to review the draft. On October 19, 1983, the CAA finished its review, having altered several provisions. Among the changes made to the draft included an increase of presidential terms from four to six years, removal of an entrenchment provision that would have prevented amendments altering presidential term lengths and term limits, removal of a prohibition on government participation by military personnel, deletion of provisions establishing two autonomous agencies charged with approving judicial candidates and investigating corruption. On July 3, 1984, the revised Constitution was submitted to a national referendum, where it was approved by 78.3% of voters. Following the 1985 general election, the new Constitution came into effect on January 6, 1986 with the inauguration of Doe and the newly elected Legislature of Liberia; the executive power of the state is vested in the President of Liberia, entrusted to faithfully execute the laws of the country.
Among the changes made to the presidency from the previous constitution include the introduction of term limits, prohibiting the President from serving more than two terms, the reduction of presidential terms from eight years to six. Additionally, the Constitution requires that candidates for the presidency must own at least $25,000 in real property, an increase in the original $600 requirement in the 1847 Constitution. Furthermore, the President is immune from civil suits arising from actions taken during their tenure in office and arrest on criminal charges while in office, though the President may be prosecuted for criminal acts committed while in office upon vacating the presidency; the Constitution includes new provisions allowing for the presidential appointment of a new Vice President, with the consent of both houses of the Legislature, in the event of the vacancy of the office. Furthermore, the Constitution provides that in the event of the assumption of the presidency by the Vice President in the event of the President's death, incapacity or removal, the Vice President will be not considered to have served a term in office for the purpose of term limits.
The Constitution grants legislative power to the Legislature of Liberia. Few changes were made to the Legislature from the 1847 Constitution, which modeled the Liberian Congress on the United States Congress. However, due to the unitary nature of Liberia, the Legislature is not restricted in its power to make laws, so long as those laws do not violate any provision of the Constitution; the Constitution follows the model set by Article IV of the 1847 Constitution, vesting judicial powers in the Supreme Court of Liberia and any subordinate courts created by the Legislature. However, the Constitution places absent requirements on judicial appointees, requiring Supreme Court justices to have been counselors of the Supreme Court Bar for at least five years and requiring all other judges to have been either practicing attorneys for three years or a member of the Supreme Court Bar. Article 89 of the Constitution mandates the establishment of three independent agencies: Civil Service Commission National Election Commission General Auditing Commission While the 1847 Constitution had provided for political rights similar to those expressed in the United States Bill of Rights, the current constitution expands these rights to include a variety of economic and social rights.
For instance, Article 6 provides for equal access to education, while Article 5 protects traditional Liberian culture. Article 8 establishes workers' rights by prohibiting inhumane or dangerous working conditions, Article 18 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, religion or ethnicity, as well as guaranteeing equal pay. Additionally, Article 14 explicitly invokes the separation of church and state and the prohibition of a state religion. Article 27 of the Constitution retains the controversial nationality requirements of Article V, Section 13 of the 1847 Constitution, which limits citizenship to "persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent." Article 95 of the Constitution repeals the 1847 Constitution, while certifying that all laws enacted before the repeal remain in effect. Article 95, certifies the validity of all statutes, international agreements and financial obligations enacted by the People's Redemption Council. Additionally, Article 97 prohibits any court from questioning the validity of actions taken by the PRC or bringing charges against any PRC member for the overthrow of the Tolbert administration, the repeal of the 1847 Constitution, the establishment of the PRC, the imposition of criminal penalties or the confiscation of property by the PRC d
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
Samuel Kanyon Doe was a Liberian politician who served as the Liberian leader from 1980 to 1990, first as a military leader and as a politician. Master Sergeant Doe served as chairman of the People's Redemption Council and de facto head of state after staging a violent coup d'etat in 1980. Samuel Doe in turn was murdered by his conqueror, Prince Johnson, one time ally of Charles Taylor, in an internationally televised display. Doe headed the country's military junta for the next five years. In 1985 he ordered an election and became the 21st President of Liberia; the election was marked by controversy. Doe had support from the United States; the first native head of state in the country's history, Doe was a member of the Krahn ethnic group, a rural people. Before the 1980 coup, natives had held a marginal role in society, dominated by the descendants of the Americo-Liberian Pioneers. Doe opened Liberian ports to Canadian and European ships; this brought in considerable foreign investment from foreign shipping firms and earned Liberia a reputation as a tax haven.
Doe attempted to legitimize his regime with passage of a new constitution in 1984 and elections in 1985. However, opposition to his rule increased after the 1985 elections, which were declared to be fraudulent by most foreign observers. For political reasons, the US continued to support him. In the late 1980s, as the US government adopted more fiscal austerity and the threat of Communism declined with the waning of the Cold War, the U. S. became disenchanted with the entrenched corruption of Doe's government and began cutting off critical foreign aid. This, combined with the popular anger generated by Doe's favoritism toward Krahns, placed him in a precarious position. A civil war began in December 1989, when rebels entered Liberia through Ivory Coast with the intent of capturing Doe, he was captured and overthrown on 9 September 1990. He executed. On May 6, 1951 Doe was born in a small inland village in Grand Gedeh County, his family belonged to the Krahn people, a minority indigenous group important in this area.
At the age of sixteen, Doe finished elementary school and enrolled at a Baptist junior high school in Zwedru. Two years he enlisted in the Armed Forces of Liberia, hoping thereby to obtain a scholarship to a high school in Kakata, but instead he was assigned to military duties. Over the next ten years, he was assigned to a range of duty stations, including education at a military school and commanding an assortment of garrisons and prisons in Monrovia, he completed high school by correspondence. Doe was promoted to the grade of Master sergeant on 11 October 1979 and made an administrator for the Third Battalion in Monrovia, which position he occupied for eleven months. Commanding a group of Krahn soldiers, Master Sergeant Samuel Doe led a military coup on 12 April 1980 by attacking the Liberian Executive Mansion and killing President William R. Tolbert, Jr, his forces killed another 26 of Tolbert's supporters in the fighting. Thirteen members of the Cabinet were publicly executed ten days later.
Other public demonstrations were made to show his power and humiliate Tolbert's people before killing them. Shortly after the coup, government ministers were walked publicly around Monrovia in the nude and summarily executed by a firing squad on the beach. Hundreds of government workers fled the country. After the coup, Doe assumed the rank of general and established a People's Redemption Council, composed of himself and 14 other low-ranking officers, to rule the country; the early days of the regime were marked by mass executions of members of Tolbert's deposed government. Doe ordered the release of about 50 leaders of the opposition Progressive People's Party, jailed by Tolbert during the rice riots of the previous month. Shortly after that, Doe ordered the arrest of 91 officials of the Tolbert regime. Within days, 11 former members of Tolbert's cabinet, including his brother Frank, were brought to trial to answer charges of "high treason, rampant corruption and gross violation of human rights."
Doe suspended the Constitution, allowing these trials to be conducted by a Commission appointed by the state's new military leadership, with defendants being refused both legal representation and trial by jury ensuring their conviction. Doe abruptly ended 133 years of Americo-Liberian political domination; some hailed the coup as the first time since Liberia's establishment as a country that it was governed by people of native African descent instead of by the Americo-Liberian elite. Other persons without Americo-Liberian heritage had held the Vice Presidency, as well as Ministerial and Legislative positions in years prior. Many people welcomed Doe's takeover as a shift favoring the majority of the population, excluded from participation in government since the establishment of the country. However, the new government, led by the leaders of the coup d'état and calling itself the People's Redemption Council, lacked experience and was ill-prepared to rule. Doe became head of state and suspended the constitution, but promised a return to
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
Grand Gedeh County
Grand Gedeh is a county in the eastern portion of the West African nation of Liberia. One of 15 counties that constitute the first-level of administrative division in the nation, it has three districts. Zwedru serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 10,484 square kilometres; as of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 126,146, making it the ninth most populous county in Liberia. Grand Gedeh has lower tropical forests which has mid size hills composed of various valleys and water courses; these forests receive a high rainfall ranging from 3,000 mm to 4,100 mm per year. Grand Gedeh's County Superintendent is Kai Farley; the county is bordered by Nimba County to the west, Sinoe County to the southwest, River Gee County to the southeast. The northern part of Grand Gedeh borders the nation of Côte d'Ivoire. Grand Chedah has lower tropical forests which has mid size hills composed of various valleys and water courses; these forests receive a high rainfall ranging from 3,000 mm to 4,100 mm per year in two distinct seasons.
It has evergreen forests. While in the uplands it is conducive for rice cultivation, the low lying areas are conducive for yam, plantains, vegetables, rubber and sugarcane. Grand Chedah county has two community forest, namely Neezonnie, occupying an area of 42,424 ha and Blouquia, occupying an area of 43,796 ha. Thre are three National plantation areas: the SIGA Reforestation project, EAC Reforestation project and the WATRACE Reforestation project, it shares the National proposed reserve of Grebo Forest with River Gee County. In the 1984 Census, the county had a population of 63,028 people; the county is home to large Muslim and Ivorian populations. As of 2008, the county had a population of 125,258: 64,994 male and 60,264 female; the sex ratio was 107.8 compared to 96.3 in 1994 census. The number of households during 2008 was 8,969 and the average size of the households was 6.8. The population was 3.00 per cent of the total population, while it was 3.60 per cent in 1994. The county had an area of 4,191 sq mi and the density per sq.mi was 30.
The density during the 1984 census stood at 15. Liberia experienced civil war during various times and the total number of people displaced on account of wars as of 2008 in the county was 81,624; the number of people residing in urban areas was 41,673, with 20,696 males and 20,977 females. The total number of people in rural areas was 83,585, with 44,298 males and 39,287 females; the total fraction of people residing in urban areas was 33.27 per cent, while the remaining 067 per cent were living in rural areas. The number of people resettled as of 2008 was 4,508 while the number of people who were not resettled was 263; the number of literates above the age of ten as of 2008 was 19,297 while the number of illiterates was 19,758 making the literacy rate to 49.41. The total number of literate males was 12,513 while the total number of literate females was 6,784; as of 2011, the area of rice plantation was 9,250 ha, 3.874 per cent of the total area of rice planted in the country. The total production stood at 8300 metric tonnes.
As of 2011, the number of Cassava plantation was 4200, 3.4 per cent of the total area of Cassava planted in the country. The total production stood at 1140 metric tonnes; the number of Cocoa plantation was 1140, 2.9 per cent of the total area of Cassava planted in the country. The number of rubber plantation was 230, 0.4 per cent of the total area of Cassava planted in the country. The number of Coffee plantation was 240, 1.1 per cent of the total area of Cassava planted in the country. As of 2008, the county had 2,686 paid employees, 13,695 self-employed people, 15,578 family workers, 4,868 people looking for work, 7,159 not working people, 13,840 people working in households, 36,350 students, 236 retired people, 1,621 incapacitated people, 1,929 part-time workers and 8,951 others, making the total working population of 106,913; the Legislature of Liberia was modeled based on the Legislature of United States. It is bicameral in the House of Representatives. There are 15 counties in the country and based on the population, each county is defined to have at least two members, while the total number of members to the house including the Speaker being 73.
Each member represents an electoral district and elected to a six year term based on popular vote. There were 30 senators, two each for the 15 counties and they serve a nine year term. Senators are elected based on plurality of votes; the Vice-President is the head of the Senate and he acts as President in his absence. Districts of Grand Gedeh County include: Gbarzon District, Konobo District and Tchien District are the districts in the county. Gwin Town Tuzon "2008 Population and Housing Census, final results". Monrovia, Liberia: Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-information Services. 2009. Grand Gedeh Association County Development Agenda Place name codes
President of Liberia
The President of the Republic of Liberia is the head of state and government of Liberia. The president serves as the leader of the executive branch and as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. Prior to the independence of Liberia in 1847, executive power in the Commonwealth of Liberia was held by the Governor of Liberia, appointed by the American Colonization Society; the 1847 Constitution transferred the executive powers of the governorship to the presidency, modeled on the presidency of the United States. Between 1847 and 1980, the presidency was held by Americo-Liberians, the original American settlers of Liberia and their descendants; the original two-party system, with the Republican Party and the True Whig Party, ended in 1878, when the election of Anthony W. Gardiner marked the beginning of 102 years of single-party rule by the True Whigs. Following a coup d'état by disgruntled army officers led by Samuel Doe in 1980, the presidency was vacated until the election of Doe in the 1985 general election.
After the overthrow and murder of Doe in 1990, the presidency was again vacated for seven years during the First Liberian Civil War and again for two years following the conclusion of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Under the 1986 Constitution, the president is directly elected by eligible voters to a six-year term, which may be renewed once. Overall, 25 individuals have served as president, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa. On January 22, 2018, George Weah was sworn in as the current president of Liberia. Following the establishment of the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1838, executive power was vested in the Governor of Liberia, appointed and served at the pleasure of the American Colonization Society; the first governor, Thomas Buchanan, served from 1838 until his death in 1841. He was succeeded by the first black governor of Liberia. Upon independence in 1847, Roberts was elected as the first president of Liberia; the 1847 Constitution denied suffrage to the indigenous population by requiring voters to own real estate.
As a result, the presidency was held by Americo-Liberians until 1980, when a military coup led by Samuel Doe, an ethnic Krahn and murdered President William Tolbert The presidency was vacant from 1980 to 1986, with executive power held by Doe as the head of the People's Redemption Council. Doe was elected president in the 1985 general election, making him the first president outside of the Americo-Liberian elite. Doe was overthrown and murdered in 1990 following the commencement First Liberian Civil War, during which the presidency remained vacant. Following the 1997 general election, Charles Taylor held the presidency until his resignation on August 11, 2003 as part of a peace deal to end the Second Liberian Civil War, his successor, Moses Blah, ceded executive power on October 13 of that year to Gyude Bryant, the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia. The presidency was resumed on January 16, 2006 following the 2005 election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first female president.
George Weah was elected in 2017 as the 23rd President of Liberia. Incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed Executive Order No. 91, thus establishing a Joint Presidential Transition Team, due to the fact that Liberia had "not experienced the transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another democratically elected President for over 70 years ". The presidency of Liberia is modeled on the presidency of the United States; the 1986 Constitution gives the president the power to appoint all cabinet ministers, ambassadors, county officials and military officers with the advice and consent of the Senate. Additionally, the president has the power to dismiss all appointees from office at his or her discretion; the president may grant pardons or revoke sentences and fines. The president conducts all matters of foreign policy, though any treaties or international agreements must be ratified by both houses of the Legislature. Furthermore, the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
The Constitution grants the president the power to declare a state of emergency during times of war or civil unrest and suspend civil liberties during the emergency as necessary, with the exception of habeas corpus. Within seven days of the declaration, the president must state to the Legislature the reasons for the declaration, which both houses must approve by a two-thirds majority. Otherwise, the president must repeal the state of emergency; the president must sign all legislation passed by the House of Representatives and Senate. The president may choose to veto any legislation, which may be overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses. Additionally, the president may exercise a pocket veto by refusing to sign legislation when the end of the twenty-day deadline for signing the bill falls during a recess of the legislature; the president may extend a legislative session past its adjournment date or call a special extraordinary session when he or she deems it necessary in the national interest.
The president must give an annual report to the Legislature on the state of the country. To be eligible for office under the current Constitution, a presidential candidate must: be a natural born citizen of Liberia. Additionally, the president may not be from the same county as the Vice President of Liberia. Under the original 1847 Constitution, the president was elected to a two
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