Senate reviews presidential tenure

The Liberian Senate has received a proposal from its Committee on Judiciary, Claims and Petition to reduce presidential tenure here from six to five years.

Currently, a Liberian president is constitutionally elected for a six – year term and is allowed to seek a second term, thus ruling for 12 years when re-elected. But the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) through its recommendation to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee recommends a reduction in presidential tenure from six to five years.

The Senate Plenary which is the highest decision – making body of the Upper House has not taken any action, but Grand Gedeh County Senator G. Alphonso Gaye says the reduction should take effect.

The committee headed by Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman says the tenure of the president is seriously under review. According to him, the CRC in its submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee placed emphasis on the presidential tenure.

The Judiciary Committee is reviewing the 1986 Liberian Constitution for a possible national referendum to be scheduled for 2019. The CRC recommends that the tenures for senior and junior senators and the members of the House of Representatives be reduced also to acceptable tenures.

Though, the committee is yet to announce cut, information received so far by this paper indicates that tenure of senior senators is to be reduced to seven years, junior senators five years and members of the House of Representatives to five years respectively. In another development, the Judiciary Committee has also rejected the call for Liberia to be a ‘Christian State’ as recommended by some Christian leaders.

Cllr. Sherman says the call is not timely, arguing that since its independence, Liberia has been secular and every religion practiced here has been respected and observed by national leaders and the community.

Meanwhile, plenary is expected to commence national debate on the entire review process this Thursday, 21 June and the debate will last for two days at the Senate.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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