A bicameral legislature divides the legislators into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses; as of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures. The members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from country to country; this can lead to the two chambers having different compositions of members. Enactment of primary legislation requires a concurrent majority – the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature; when this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many Westminster system parliaments, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism; some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house only able to overrule the other under certain circumstances.
The Founding Fathers of the United States favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, noted that "this type of dominion is always connected with opulence"; the Senate was created to be a stabilising force, elected not by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what Madison saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House, he noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness and caution were deemed important. State legislators chose the Senate, senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures.
As part of the Great Compromise, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had states represented and the House had them represented by population. The British Parliament is referred to as the Mother of Parliaments because the British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, its Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth have organised parliaments with a ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house, a smaller upper house. A formidable sinister interest may always obtain the complete command of a dominant assembly by some chance and for a moment, it is therefore of great use to have a second chamber of an opposite sort, differently composed, in which that interest in all likelihood will not rule. There have been a number of rationales put forward in favour of bicameralism, federal states have adopted it, the solution remains popular when regional differences or sensitivities require more explicit representation, with the second chamber representing the constituent states.
The older justification for second chambers—providing opportunities for second thoughts about legislation—has survived. Growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multifunctional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the Senate of Canada or the election of the Senate of France; the relationship between the two chambers varies. The first tends to be those with presidential governments; the latter tends to be the case in unitary states with parliamentary systems. There are two streams of thought: Critics believe bicameralism makes meaningful political reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of gridlock—particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers—while proponents argue the merits of the "checks and balances" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent the passage into law of ill-considered legislation.
Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including: Sending messages Formal notices, such as of resolutions or the passing of bills done in writing, via the clerk and speaker of each house Transmission of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house Joint session a plenary session of both houses at the same time and place. Joint committees which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house Conferences Conferences of the Houses of the English Parliament met in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. There were a distinction between an "ordinary conference" and a "free conference". A "free conference" meets in private to resolve a dispute; the last fr
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Liberia)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government ministry of Liberia responsible for directing Liberia's external relations and the management of its international diplomatic missions. The ministry is located in Liberia's capital; the modern Liberian state was established by former American slaves and free African-Americans that immigrated to western Africa in the early 1800s as part of the mission of the American Colonization Society. Much of the country's foreign policy philosophy is therefore derived from the same principles that guide United States foreign policy. Indeed, the ministry notes on its website that the "foundation is copied after the pattern adopted by the United States of America from where the founding fathers of Liberia had come as ex-slaves and free men of color."Liberia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established as a cabinet-level branch of the government in 1848, soon after the country's declaration of independence in 1847. Called the "Department of State", the ministry assumed its current name in 1972.
The first director of the ministry was Hilary Teague, who drafted the Liberian Declaration of Independence and served in the Liberian Senate. Between 1848 and 1981, every Foreign Minister came from Montserrado County, Liberia's most populous county; the first individual to fill the post from outside of Montserrado was H. Boimah Fahnbulleh, Jr., from Grand Cape Mount County. In February 2012, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, a member of the Unity Party was appointed as the minister, he was Dean of the Liberian Cabinet under President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The ministry maintains Liberia's affairs with foreign entities, including bilateral relations with individual nations and its representation in international organizations, including the United Nations, African Union, the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the Economic Community of West African States, among others, it oversees visas, some matters of public affairs and the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, which helps to train Liberian diplomats.
Foreign diplomatic corps vehicles are issued with a unique set of Vehicle registration plates of Liberia. Foreign relations of Liberia Minister of Foreign Affairs List of diplomatic missions of Liberia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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
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
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
Districts of Liberia
The counties of Liberia are subdivided into 68 districts. Counties of Liberia Administrative divisions of Liberia Statoids Liberiadistricts.com Comprehensive resource about counties and districts of Liberia