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President of Liberia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President of the
Republic of Liberia
Flag of the President of Liberia.svg
Presidential Standard
Incumbent
George Weah

since January 22, 2018
StyleMr. President
(Informal)
His Excellency
(Formal)
ResidenceExecutive Mansion, Monrovia (currently not in use)
Term lengthSix years, renewable once
Inaugural holderJoseph Jenkins Roberts
January 3, 1848
Formation1847 Constitution of Liberia
July 26, 1847
DeputyVice President of Liberia
SalaryUS$90,000 annually
Websitewww.emansion.gov.lr
Coat of arms of Liberia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Liberia
Flag of Liberia.svg
Liberia portal

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, who was appointed by the American Colonization Society. The 1847 Constitution transferred the executive powers of the governorship to the presidency, which was largely modeled on the presidency of the United States.

Between 1847 and 1980, the presidency was exclusively 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 twenty-fifth and current president of Liberia.

History

Following the establishment of the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1838, executive power was vested in the Governor of Liberia, who was 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 Joseph Jenkins Roberts, 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 exclusively held by Americo-Liberians until 1980, when a military coup led by Samuel Doe, an ethnic Krahn, overthrew 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 later elected president in the 1985 general election, making him the first president outside of the Americo-Liberian elite. Doe was later 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 [...]".[1]

Powers and duties

The presidency of Liberia is largely modeled on the presidency of the United States.

Executive functions

The 1986 Constitution gives the president the power to appoint all cabinet ministers, judges, ambassadors, sheriffs, 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 also 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 also 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 then approve by a two-thirds majority. Otherwise, the president must repeal the state of emergency.

Legislative functions

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 also give an annual report to the Legislature on the state of the country.

Eligibility

To be eligible for office under the current Constitution, a presidential candidate must:

  • be a natural born citizen of Liberia (per Art, 27(b) of the Constitution, citizenship is limited to "persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent");
  • be at least thirty-five years old;
  • own real property valued at least $25,000;
  • have resided in Liberia for at least ten years.

Additionally, the president may not be from the same county as the Vice President of Liberia.

Term and election

Under the original 1847 Constitution, the president was elected to a two-year term, which was increased to four years on May 7, 1907.[2] Under this amendment, a new president would serve for eight years and could be re-elected to unlimited four-year terms. During the presidency of William Tolbert, the Constitution was amended to restrict the president to a single eight-year term; by 1976, voices in the Legislature were being raised in favor of returning to the previous system, but Tolbert proclaimed his support for the existing system and vowed to veto any constitutional amendments to remove term limits.[3]

Currently, the president is elected by popular vote to a six-year term and is limited to two terms. Under the 1986 Constitution, presidential elections utilize a two-round system, wherein a second round of voting is held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes if no single candidate obtains a majority in the first round. Each term begins and ends at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections.[4] At the time of their inauguration, each president is required under the Constitution to take a presidential oath promising to preserve and defend the Constitution and faithfully execute the law. The oath is administered by the Chief Justice of Liberia in front of a joint session of the Legislature.

Residence

Since 2006, the Executive Mansion has been under renovations due to a fire that damaged parts of the building in July of that year. The office of the president was transferred to the nearby Foreign Ministry building as a result, where it currently hosts President George Weah.[5]

List of officeholders

Political parties
Other factions
No. Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Term
(Election)
Vice President
Took office Left office Time in office
1
Joseph Jenkins Roberts.jpg
Joseph Jenkins Roberts
(1809–1876)
January 3, 1848 January 7, 1856 8 years,

4 days

Independent 1.
(1847)
Nathaniel Brander
2.
(1849)
Anthony D. Williams
3.
(1851)
4.
(1853)
Stephen Allen Benson
2
Stephen Allen Benson.jpg
Stephen Allen Benson
(1816–1865)
January 7, 1856 January 4, 1864 7 years,

362 days

Independent 5.
(1855)
Beverly Page Yates
6.
(1857)
7.
(1859)
Daniel Bashiel Warner
8.
(1861)
3
Daniel Warner2.jpg
Daniel Bashiel Warner
(1815–1880)
January 4, 1864 January 6, 1868 4 years,

2 days

Republican Party 9.
(1863)
James M. Priest
10.
(1865)
4
James Payne2.jpg
James Spriggs Payne
(1819–1882)
January 6, 1868 January 3, 1870 1 year,

362 days

Republican Party 11.
(1867)
Joseph Gibson
5
Edward James Roye2.jpg
Edward James Roye
(1815–1872)
January 3, 1870 October 26, 1871
(Deposed)
1 year,

296 days

True Whig Party 12.
(1869)
James Skivring Smith
6
SkivringSmith.jpg
James Skivring Smith
(1825–1892)
October 26, 1871 January 1, 1872 67 days True Whig Party Vacant
(October 26, 1871 – January 1, 1872)
7
Joseph Jenkins Roberts.jpg
Joseph Jenkins Roberts
(1809–1876)
January 1, 1872 January 3, 1876
(Died)
4 years,

2 days

Republican Party 13.
(1871)
Anthony W. Gardiner
14.
(1873)
8
James Payne2.jpg
James Spriggs Payne
(1819–1882)
January 3, 1876 January 7, 1878 2 years,

4 days

Republican Party 15.
(1875)
Charles Harmon
9
Gardiner2.jpg
Anthony W. Gardiner
(1820–1885)
January 7, 1878 January 20, 1883
(Resigned)
5 years,

13 days

True Whig Party 16.
(1877)
Alfred Francis Russell
17.
(1879)
18.
(1881)
10
Alfred Russell2.jpg
Alfred Francis Russell
(1817–1884)
January 20, 1883 January 7, 1884 352 days True Whig Party Vacant
(January 20, 1883 – January 7, 1884)
11
Hilary Johnson2.jpg
Hilary R. W. Johnson
(1837–1901)
January 7, 1884 January 4, 1892 7 years,

362 days

True Whig Party 19.
(1883)
James Thompson
20.
(1885)
21.
(1887)
22.
(1889)
12
Joseph Cheeseman2.jpg
Joseph James Cheeseman
(1843–1896)
January 4, 1892 November 12, 1896
(Died)
4 years,

312 days

True Whig Party 23.
(1891)
William D. Coleman
24.
(1893)
25.
(1895)
13
William Coleman2.jpg
William D. Coleman
(1842–1908)
November 12, 1896 December 11, 1900 4 years,

29 days

True Whig Party Vacant
(November 12, 1896 – January 3, 1898)
26.
(1897)
Joseph J. Ross
27.
(1899)
Vacant
(October 24, 1899 – January 3, 1902)
14
Garretson Gibson2.jpg
Garretson W. Gibson
(1832–1910)
December 11, 1900 January 4, 1904 3 years,

24 days

True Whig Party
28.
(1901)
Joseph D. Summerville
15
Arthur Barclay.jpg
Arthur Barclay
(1854–1938)
January 4, 1904 January 1, 1912 7 years,

362 days

True Whig Party 29.
(1903)
Vacant
(July 27, 1905 – January 1, 1906)
30.
(1905)
J. J. Dossen
31.
(1907)
16
Daniel Edward Howard.jpg
Daniel Edward Howard
(1861–1935)
January 1, 1912 January 5, 1920 8 years,

4 days

True Whig Party 32.
(1911)
Samuel George Harmon
33.
(1915)
17
CBD King of Liberia.jpg
Charles D. B. King
(1875–1961)
January 5, 1920 December 3, 1930
(Resigned)
10 years,

332 days

True Whig Party 34.
(1919)
Samuel Alfred Ross
35.
(1923)
Henry Too Wesley
36.
(1927)
Allen Yancy
18
Edwin Barclay portrait.jpg
Edwin Barclay
(1882–1955)
December 3, 1930 January 3, 1944 13 years,

31 days

True Whig Party James Skivring Smith, Jr.
37.
(1931)
38.
(1939)
19
William Tubman 1943.jpg
William Tubman
(1895–1971)
January 3, 1944 July 23, 1971
(Died)
27 years,

202 days

True Whig Party 39.
(1943)
Clarence Lorenzo Simpson
40.
(1951)
William Tolbert
41.
(1955)
42.
(1959)
43.
(1963)
44.
(1967)
20
William R. Tolbert, Jr..JPG
William Tolbert
(1913–1980)
July 23, 1971 April 12, 1980
(Assassinated)
8 years,

263 days

True Whig Party Vacant
(July 23, 1971 – April 1972)
45.
(1971)
James Edward Greene
46.
(1975)
Vacant
(July 22, 1977 – October 31, 1977)
Bennie Dee Warner
Samuel Kanyon Doe - Liberian.jpg
Samuel Doe
(1951–1990)
Chairman of the People's Redemption Council
April 12, 1980 – January 6, 1986
10 years,

149 days

Military /
National Democratic Party
21 January 6, 1986 September 9, 1990
(Assassinated)
47.
(1985)
Harry Moniba
No image.png
Amos Sawyer
(born 1945)
President of the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia
September 9, 1990 – March 7, 1994
3 years,

178 days

Liberian People's Party
No image.png
David D. Kpormakpor
(1935–2010)
Chairman of the Council of State of Liberia
March 7, 1994 – September 1, 1995
1 year,

177 days

Independent
No image.png
Wilton G. S. Sankawulo
(1937–2009)
Chairman of the Council of State of Liberia
September 1, 1995 – September 3,1996
1 year,

2 days

Independent
No image.png
Ruth Perry
(1939–2017)
Chairman of the Council of State of Liberia
September 3, 1996 – August 2, 1997
333 days Independent
22
President Charles Taylor.png
Charles Taylor
(1948–)
August 2, 1997 August 11, 2003
(Resigned)
6 years,

9 days

National Patriotic Party 48.
(1997)
Enoch Dogolea
Vacant
(June 24, 2000 – July 24, 2000)
Moses Blah
23
No image.png
Moses Blah
(1947–2013)
August 11, 2003 October 14, 2003
(Resigned)
64 days National Patriotic Party Vacant
(August 11, 2003 – October 14, 2003)
Gyude Bryant 2004.jpg
Gyude Bryant
(1949–2014)
Chairman of the Transitional Government of Liberia
October 14, 2003 – January 16, 2006
2 years,

93 days

Liberian Action Party
24
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, April 2010.jpg
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
(1938–)
January 16, 2006 January 22, 2018 12 years,

6 days

Unity Party 49.
(2005)
Joseph Boakai
50.
(2011)
25
PortraitGeorgeWeahAiportTunisCarthageSeptembre2016.jpg
George Weah
(1966–)
January 22, 2018 Incumbent 1 year,

281 days

Congress for Democratic Change 51.
(2017)
Jewel Taylor

Timeline

George WeahEllen Johnson SirleafGyude BryantMoses BlahCharles TaylorRuth PerryWilton G. S. SankawuloDavid D. KpormakporAmos SawyerSamuel DoeWilliam TolbertWilliam TubmanEdwin BarclayCharles D. B. KingDaniel Edward HowardArthur BarclayGarretson W. GibsonWilliam D. ColemanJoseph James CheesemanHilary R. W. JohnsonAlfred Francis RussellAnthony W. GardinerJames Skivring SmithEdward James RoyeJames Spriggs PayneDaniel Bashiel WarnerStephen Allen BensonJoseph Jenkins Roberts

See also

History:

Notes

  1. ^ "President Sirleaf Issues Executive order No. 91 – Establishing the Joint Presidential Transition Team of 2017". Executive Mansion. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Starr, Frederick (1913). Liberia: Description, History, Problems. Chicago. p. 256.
  3. ^ "Pres. Tolbert Says 'No' To Evil Tradition: Vows to Veto Any Amendment To Keep Him In Office". [Monrovia] Sunday Express 1976-03-21: 1/2.
  4. ^ http://www.liberianlegal.com/constitution1986.htm#_THE_EXECUTIVE
  5. ^ Daygbor, Nathaniel (September 20, 2010). "Mansion's Renovation Not Priority". The New Dawn.

References

This page was last edited on 30 October 2019, at 21:10
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