Liberia: Weah to Run for Third Term?

-Rep Pelam raps on changing constitution

Just as he enters the third year of his first term, House Representative Munah Pelham has hinted of plans by her party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to alter the constitution and ensure that President George Weah runs for a third term.

Speaking in a recent interview Rep. Pelham who has been absence on the Liberian political scene for over a year due to a protracted illness said the Weah regime will get to a point where it will seek a referendum to amend the constitution to allow Weah to contest for a third term.

"We will get to a point where we will seek a referendum to amend the constitution to have Ambassador George Weah sitting as our President for a third term," Rep Pelham said amidst cheers in an AP Interview at the CDC's headquarters.

Rep. Pelham further disclosed that she was making a prediction about altering the Constitution to have President Weah contest for a third term and that will surely come to pass.

"You could never imagine this is a prediction and I can tell you it will come to pass," she added.

Rep Pelham who is trying to make her presence felt after a long absence here has just upped the debate among ruling party faithful to another level. Though it has not been official but many Cdcians have joked that Weah could probably be a life time president.

What the Constitution says about term limits

The Liberian constitution calls for a two term limit for a president and no president has ever in the history of Liberia attempted to alter the constitution to seek third term at least not publicly like is the case with the CDC regime.

Article 50 of the Liberian 1986 Constitution says, "The Executive Power of the Republic shall be

vested in the President who shall be Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. The president shall be elected by universal adult suffrage of registered voters in the Republic and shall hold office for a term of six years commencing at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections. No person shall serve as President for more than two terms."

The executive power of the state is vested in the President of Liberia, who is 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, and the reduction of presidential terms from eight years to six.

The Liberian Constitution of 1847 was the first constitution of Liberia. It was mostly modeled on the Constitution of the United States, it remained in effect from its adoption on 26 July 1847 until its suspension by the People's Redemption Council on 12 April 1980.

The July 26, 1847 Constitution was approve in a referendum on 27 September 1847. It has since seen several amendments from 1847 to 1980.

Among these amendments, the term length of the president was extended to four years in 1908, and to eight years in 1934. The 1986 Constitution saw the term length of the president being reduced from 8 years to six years and limited to two terms.

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, resignation, incapacity or removal, the Vice President will be not considered to have served a term in office for the purpose of term limits.

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