The ‘Macky’ Syndrome: Liberia Sets Out To Reduce Presidential Terms


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and one of the most influential and powerful women in Africa has conceded that the constitution be amended to effect reduction in presidential terms and those of senate and representatives too. Consequently she set up a commission to review the current 1986 constitution in that regard; with the proposition that presidential terms of office be cut down from two 6-year terms to two 4-year terms; senators’ from a 9 year term to a 6 year term while representatives’ be reduced from 6 years to 4 years.

On Tuesday, the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) which was set up last year read the report as well as the president’s standpoint on the propositions for the senate. Aside the term limits, the review also addressed such propositions as: provisions to democratically elect superintendents of the country’s 15 political subdivisions; gender parity; Christianization of Liberia, land right issues and dual citizenship- which Ellen Sirleaf seems to be very keen on, giving this reason:

“Evidence shown over the years that our nation stands to benefit economically and socially from the input of these persons of Liberian heritage into our common country”

Ellen stresses the economic benefits of endorsing dual citizenship in Liberia, ranging from increased diaspora remittances, foreign investments and a higher capital formation and household consumption.

The Liberian law makers are expected to approve the proposals, make a national referendum as they anticipate the next presidential election in 2017. In commendation the Information Minister Lewis Brown applauds the legislature and the president for her support in going through with the endorsement of term limits, saying it will enhance a genuinely “transparent” and “inclusive” democracy in Liberia.