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Liberia Political System

Political system

Liberia's political system is similar to that of the United States, with power divided between a legislative, an executive and a judicial body - the two-chamber parliament, the president and the government, and the Supreme Court. After many years of war, the situation in the country has stabilized. In early 2018, a change of power occurred when George Weah took over the presidential post from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who had been in power for twelve years. The situation in Liberia is slowly improving but corruption is still a major problem.

According to the 1986 Constitution, the legislative power is exercised by the Senate with 30 members (two from each of the country's 15 counties, elected for a term of nine years; half of the members are replaced every three and half every six years, and by the House of Representatives whose 73 members are elected in general elections for six years.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Liberia for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The executive power is held by the president, who is head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief. The president is elected in the general election for six years and can be re-elected.

A new law must be adopted by two-thirds of the members of both chambers and then approved by the president. The same majority support is required for changes in the constitution.

The voting age is 18 years. Citizenship is only granted to people of black, African descent.

Political System of LiberiaPolitical parties

The first general elections after the Second Civil War were held in the fall of 2005. Prior to that election, a number of new parties were formed. After several parliamentary elections, it is clear that none of them is strong enough to get their own majority in the House of Representatives. In 2017, there were 26 parties registered.

The largest party is the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) led by the new president, former football star George Weah. The second largest Unity Party (UP) to which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf belonged. However, she was expelled from the party in early 2018, after criticism that she had not supported the party's candidate in the 2018 presidential election (see Current Policy and Calendar). Another ten parties sit in the House of Representatives and twelve independent members. The newer parties include the All Liberian Party (ALP), formed in 2015 by Benoni Urey, company manager.

2018

October

The governor claims that no money was lost

October 3

The question of whether newly printed Liberian banknotes worth about US $ 100 million has disappeared or not continues to create confusion. The head of the central bank Nathaniel Patray denies that any money has disappeared at all (see September 2018). Patray also demands that the travel ban introduced for 15 people be lifted. The week before, a court on its part had requested that the travel ban be extended to include another 10 central bank employees.

September

President Weah approves new law for land reform

September 20

President Weah signs a law that gives local communities greater rights when it comes to land they use. They should now be able to show that they own the land by referring to oral testimonies, maps and written agreements concluded between different communities. The issue is sensitive and the state has previously signed agreements that give foreign companies the right to operate mining, grow oil palm or cut timber in about 40 percent of the country's area, according to rights groups. This is one of George Weah's first major reforms since he came to power. However, the bill has been discussed for four years. However, it will be long before the law can be practiced and all ownership conditions have been established.

15 receive travel bans on suspicion of million theft

September 19

The government bans 15 people from leaving the country on suspicion that newly printed Liberian banknotes worth around US $ 100 million have disappeared before being delivered to the country's central bank. The money will, according to Information Minister Eugene Nagbe,have disappeared sometime between December 2017 and August 2018, others like Finance Minister Samuel Twea tone down the event and say that not all money is gone. Those with travel bans include Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's son, Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, former Governor of Milton Weeks and Lebanese businessman George Abi Jaoudi, all with close ties to the former president. The government has launched an investigation into what may have happened to the money, and the United States has promised to assist. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf denies that any money has disappeared and says the bank has already provided full evidence. She later criticizes President Weah for trying to pull her into the deal.

June

Import duties are removed on basic goods

June 1st

Liberia's new president George Weah decides that tariffs should be removed on 2,000 imported basic commodities. The measure aims to bring down high inflation.

April

A former warlord is sentenced to 30 years in prison in the United States

April 20

Mohammed Jabbateh, a former warlord whose forces committed serious abuses during the civil war of 1989 to 2003, is sentenced to 30 years in prison in the United States. Jabbateh, who was called Jungle Jabbah during the war, first belonged to Ulimo and then Ulimo-K, who was guilty of murder, rape, mutilation and cannibalism, according to prosecutors. However, this is not what he is being condemned for, but for lying to US authorities when he applied for political asylum. However, the prosecutor's office let 17 Liberians testify about the atrocities committed by Jabbateh's militia groups, stressing that this was the only way they could use to get him sentenced. Jabbateh has been living in the United States since the late 1990s.

Journalist murder raises concern about toughening media climate

April 17

Tyron Brown, a Liberian journalist employed by the company Super Communications, is found murdered. According to local media reports, his body must have been dumped outside his Monrovia residence during the small hours. Both the Liberian journalist union and the press freedom organization Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) call on the Liberian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the murder. Already in the past, several signs have emerged that the climate for media is hardening. Jonathan Paye-Layleh, who worked as a stringer for the BBC in Liberia, has fled the country for security reasons following a public dispute with President Weah, after asking a question to UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed about whether a tribunal will set up to to prosecute those who abused during the civil war of 1989 to 2003. In addition, the privately owned Front Page Africa newspaper has been sued for $ 1.8 million for slander in connection with an advertisement that was published in March 2018. At least one of the plaintiffs, Henry Morgan, had a close relationship with Weah's CDC party. Seven journalists were temporarily detained, but later released to the bail, and the newspaper's office was closed for a short period. Representatives of the government refute that it is involved in any way. Several media executives have expressed concern that the number of threats and harassment against journalists has increased significantly in recent times.

March

Thousands of Liberians are given one year to leave the United States

March 27th

US President Donald Trump announces that the thousands of Liberian citizens who have had special protection status in the United States will have one year to leave the country. During the civil war of the 1990s, about 10,000 Liberians were granted temporary protection in the United States, and the permits have since been extended several times. It is unclear how many of those initially granted protection are still living or living in the country.

Unmil leaves Liberia

March 22

UN operation Unmil is now closed after 15 years. In a message on twitter, Unmil describes one of the most successful operations in UN history. At a ceremony in Monrovia, President George Weah promises to maintain peace in the country. Since 2003, 126,000 soldiers, 16,000 police and 23,000 civilians have served Unmil in Liberia.

Free Trade Agreement in Africa

21 March

Liberia is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.

February

79 percent of all primary care was eliminated during the Ebola epidemic

February 21st

More people may have died because of the stresses that Ebola posed to the healthcare system in Liberia than by the virus itself. This is what researchers from the University of Washington say in an article published in the scientific journal PLOS Medicine. Many of those who died of other causes were pregnant women and patients suffering from malaria. According to the researchers, 79 percent of all primary care was eliminated as a result of the epidemic. About 300 employees in the health care sector became ill in Ebola, which had serious consequences for the country's already fragile care system. Nearly 5,000 people died in Ebola in the years 2014 to 2016.

Weah: "I inherited a country without money"

February 21st

President George Weah says he has taken over power in a country that is almost completely lacking in money and is characterized by abuse of power. Weah, who is on a state visit to Paris, emphasizes that he has begun an audit of the state's business to make sure that the money that will go to the state does. He also promises to invest heavily in education.

Johnson Sirleaf wins the Mo Ibrahim Prize

February 12

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for her work in building up the nation after the Civil War and for the reconciliation process that began under her rule. The award has been awarded to African leaders since 2007, but Johnson Sirleaf is only the fifth prize winner. For several years we have not been able to find a suitable person. The award is presented to African politicians who have shown good leadership and who have succeeded in raising the standard of living in their country, and after leaving power . The prize amount is five million dollars, which is paid out over a ten-year period, after which the prize-winner receives $ 200,000 a year.

Weah is forced to replace Justice Minister

February 8

President Weah relinquishes and replaces his Justice Minister, Charles Gibson, who had previously been denied his license to practice as a lawyer because of irregularities against a client. He is replaced by Musa Dean, who previously worked as a lawyer for the National Electoral Commission.

January

Weah takes over as president

January 22

George Weah takes over as Liberian President. He promises to do everything he can to improve the situation in the country. He emphasizes Liberia's strong relations with both the US, China and the EU. Tens of thousands of Liberians have gathered to hear his installation figures. Guests include at least eight African heads of state, most from neighboring countries, several other former football stars such as Ivorian Didier Drogba, Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o and Nigerians Sunday Oliseh and Taribo West. In his speech, he says he cannot offer any quick solutions to the country's major problems. He promises to place great emphasis on the fight against corruption, to launch a national debate on a more equitable distribution of the country's resources, to ensure that civil servants receive wages that they can live on, and to encourage the private sector. He appoints GFindings, a senator who dropped out of the Unity Party, to new Foreign Minister, Daniel Dee Ziankahn to Secretary of Defense, Charles Gibson, a lawyer close to Weah, becomes Minister of Justice, CDC politician Samuel Tweah to Finance and Varney Sirleaf, son of the former President's ex-husband, may continue as Minister of the Interior. Nathaniel McGill, chairman of Weah's CDC party, also gets a heavy post. Only one woman is included in the ministerial list: Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr, who is responsible for issues concerning children, gender and social protection. All Ministers must be approved by the Senate. The appointment of Gibson gets criticized because the Supreme Court revoked his attorney's license after he was convicted of misappropriating funds from a client.

New law against female genital mutilation

January 21st

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ends her time as president by signing laws banning female genital mutilation and strengthening the protection of women subjected to abuse.

The unit party excludes Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

January 14

Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is excluded by the Unity Party. She is accused of urging voters not to support party mate Joseph Boakai in the presidential election. An assistant press secretary says the president must have violated the party's statutes and campaigned for George Weah. Johnson Sirleaf has not yet commented on the exclusion.


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