We the People of the Republic of Liberia, Recognizing from many experiences during the course of our national existence that all of our People, irrespective of their history, traditions or ethnic background, are part of one common body politic, Acknowledging our gratitude to God, and acting within the exercise of our natural, inherent and inalienable right to establish a framework of government for the purpose of promoting unity, stability, peace, concord and tranquility, liberty, equality, justice and human rights under the rule of law with opportunities for political, social, economic and cultural advancement for ourselves and for our posterity, and, Being solemnly resolved to live in harmony, to practice fraternal love, tolerance and understanding as a people, fully mindful of our obligation to promote African unity, international peace and cooperation, Do hereby solemnly make, enact, establish and proclaim this Constitution for the Republic of Liberia.
Article 1 All power is inherent in the people. All free govern ments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution, to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections.
Article 2 This Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law of Liberia and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Republic. Any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees and regulations found to be in consistent with it shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void and of no legal effect. The Judiciary, pursuant to its power of judicial review, is empowered to declare any inconsistent laws to be unconstitutional.
Article 3 Liberia is a unitary sovereign state divided into counties for administrative purposes. The form of government is Republican with three separate coordinate branches: the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. Consistent with the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances, no person holding office in one of these branches shall hold of fice in or exercise any of the powers assigned to either of the other two branches; and no person holding office in one of the said branches shall serve on any of the Autonomous Public Agencies.
Article 4 The principles contained in this Chapter, except as otherwise provided for in this Constitution, shall not be enforceable by any court, but shall nevertheless be fundamental in the governance of the Republic and shall serve as guidelines in the formulation of legislative, executive and administrative directives and policy-making and their execution.
(a) aim at strengthening the national integration and unity of the people of Liberia, regardless of ethnic, regional or other differences, into one body politic; and the Legislature shall enact laws promoting national unification and the encouragement of all citizens to participate in government;
(b) preserve, protect and promote positive Liberian culture, ensuring that traditional values which are compatible with public policy and national progress are adopted and developed as an integral part of the growing needs of the Liberian society as a whole;
(c) take steps, by appropriate legislation and decrees, to eliminate sectionalism and tribalism, and such abuses of power as the misuse of government resources, nepotism and all other corrupt practices.
Article 6 The Republic shall, because of the vital role assigned to the individual citizen under this Constitution for the social, economic and political well-being of Liberia , provide equal access to educational opportunities and facilities for all citizens to the extent of available resources. Emphasis shall be placed on the mass education of the Liberian people and the elimination of illiteracy.
Article 7 The Republic shall, consistent with the principles of individual freedom and social justice enshrined in this Constitution, manage the national economy and the natural resources of Liberia in such manner as shall ensure the maximum feasible participation of Liberian citizens under conditions of equality as to advance the general welfare of the Liberian people and the economic development of Liberia as a whole. All government and private enterprises shall be subject to such principles.
Article 8 The Republic shall direct its policy towards ensuring for all citizens, without discrimination, opportunities for employment and livelihood under just and humane conditions, and towards promoting safety, health and welfare facilities in employment.
Article 9 The Republic shall encourage the promotion of bilateral and regional cooperation between and among Liberia and the other African nations and the formation and maintenance of regional organizations aimed at the cultural, social, political and economic development of the peoples of Africa .
Article 10 The Republic shall ensure the publication and dissemination of the Constitution throughout the Republic and the teaching of its principles and provisions in the institutions of learning in Liberia.
(a) All persons are born equally free and independent and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the right of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of pursuing and main taining the security of the person and of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution,
(b) All persons, irrespective of ethnic background, race, sex, creed, place of origin or political opinion, are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution.
(c) All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.
Article 12 No person shall be held in slavery or forced labor within the Republic, nor shall any citizen of Liberia nor any person resident therein deal in slaves or subject any other person to forced labor, debt, bondage or peonage; but labor reasonably required in consequence of a court sentence or order conforming to acceptable labor standards, service in the military, work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations or service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community shall not be deemed forced labor.
(a) Every person lawfully within the Republic shall have the right to move freely throughout Liberia, to reside in any part thereof and to leave therefrom subject however to the safeguarding of public security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others.
(b) Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to enter and to leave Liberia at any time and no Liberian citizen shall be expelled from Liberia or extradited to a foreign state for prosecution of a criminal offense. Non-Liberian residents may be expelled from Liberia or extradited to a foreign country for prosecution of a criminal offense in accordance with the provisions of an extradition treaty or other reciprocal international agreements.
Article 14 All persons shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment thereof except as may be required by law to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. All persons who in the practice of their religions conduct themselves peaceably, not obstructing others and conforming to the standards set out herein, shall be entitled to the protection of the law. No religious denomination or sect shall have any exclusive privilege or preference over any other, but all shall be treated alike; and no religious tests shall be required for any civil or military office or for the exercise of any civil right. Consistent with the principle of separation of church and state, the Republic shall establish no state religion, and no person, while serving as the leader of any religious denomination or faith shall at the same time hold any political office.
(a) Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression. Being essential to the functioning of a free society, this is a preferred right which shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.
(b) This right encompasses the people's right to hold opinions without interference and the right to knowledge. It includes freedom of speech and of the press, academic freedom to receive and impart knowledge and information and the right of libraries to make such knowledge available. It includes non-interference with the use of the mail, telephone and telegraph. It likewise includes the right to remain silent,
(c) In pursuance of this preferred right, there shall be no limitation on the public right to be informed about the government and its members.
(d) Access to state owned media shall not be denied because of any disagreement with or dislike of the ideas expressed, and denial of access may be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction.
(e) This freedom may be limited only by judicial action in proceedings grounded in defamation or invasion of the rights of privacy and publicity or in the commercial aspect of expression in deception, false advertising and copyright infringement.
Article 17 All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to in struct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.
Article 18 All Liberian citizens shall have equal opportunity for work and employment regardless of sex, creed, religion, ethnic background, place of origin or political affiliation, and all shall be entitled to equal pay for equal work.
Article 19 No person other than members of the Armed Forces of Liberia or of the militia in active service shall be subject to military law, or made to suffer any pains or penalties by virtue of that law, or be tried by courts-martial.
Article 20 No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing and judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law. Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in equity, in courts not of record, under courts- martial and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury.
a) No person shall be made subject to any law or punishment which was not in effect at the time of commission of an offense, nor shall the Legislature enact any bill of attainder or ex post facto law.
(b ) No person shall be subject to search or seizure of his person or property, whether on a criminal charge or for any other purpose, unless upon warrant lawfully issued upon probable cause supported by a solemn oath or affirmation, specifically identifying the person or place to be searched and stating the object of the search; provided, however, that a search or seizure shall be permissible without a search warrant where the arresting authorities act in conjunction with the commission of a crime or in hot pursuit of a person who has committed a crime.
(c) Every person suspected or accused of committing a crime shall immediately upon arrest be informed in detail of the charges, of the right to remain silent and of the fact that any statement made could be used against him in a court of law. Such person shall be entitled to counsel at every stage of the investigation and shall have the right not to be interrogated except in the presence of counsel. Any admission or other statements made by the accused in the absence of such counsel shall be deemed inadmissible as evidence in a court of law.
(i) All accused persons shall be bailable upon their personal recognizance or by sufficient sureties, depending upon the gravity of the charge, unless charged for capital offenses or other grave offenses as defined by law.
(e) No person charged, arrested, restricted, detained or otherwise held in confinement shall be subject to torture or inhumane treatment; nor shall any person, except military personnel, be kept or confined in any military facility; nor shall any person be seized and kept among convicted prisoners or treated as a convict, unless such person first shall have been convicted of a crime in a court of competent jurisdiction. The Legislature shall make it a criminal offense and provide for appropriate penalties against any police or security officer, prosecutor, administrator or any other public official acting in contravention of this provision; and any person so damaged by the conduct of any such public official shall have a civil remedy therefore, exclusive of any criminal penalties imposed.
(f) Every person arrested or detained shall be formally charged and presented before a court of competent jurisdiction within forty-eight hours. Should the court determine the existence of a prima facie case against the accused, it shall issue a formal writ of arrest setting out the charge or charges and shall provide for a speedy trial. There shall be no preventive detention.
(g) The right of habeas corpus, being essential to the protection of human rights, shall be guaranteed at all times, and any person arrested or detained and not presented to court within the period specified may in consequence exercise this right.(h) No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime except in cases of impeachment, cases arising in the Armed Forces and petty offenses, unless upon presentment of an information; and in all such cases, the accused shall have the right to a speedy, public and impartial trial by a jury of the vicinity, unless such person shall, with appropriate understanding, expressly waive the right to a jury trial. In all criminal cases, the accused shall have the right to be represented by counsel of his choice, to confront witnesses against him and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. He shall not be compelled to furnish evidence against himself and he shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. No person shall be subject to double jeopardy.
(i) The right to counsel and the rights of counsel shall be inviolable. There shall be no interference with the lawyer-client relationship. In all trials, hearings, interrogatories and other proceedings where a person is accused of treason, a violation of national security or any other criminal offense, the accused shall have the right to counsel of his choice; and where the accused is unable to secure such representation, the Republic shall make available legal aid services to ensure the protection of his rights. There shall be absolute immunity from any government sanctions or interference in the performance of legal services as a counsellor or advocate; lawyers' offices and homes shall not be searched or papers examined or taken save pursuant to a search warrant and court order; and no lawyer shall be prevented from or punished for providing legal services, regardless of the charges against or the guilt of his client. No lawyer shall be barred from practice for political reasons.
(j) Any person who, upon conviction of a criminal offense, was deprived of the enjoyment of his civil rights and liberties, shall have the same automatically restored upon serving the sentence or satisfying any other penalty imposed, or upon an executive pardon.
(a) Every Liberian citizen has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others; provided that only Liberian citizens shall have the right to own real property within the Republic.
(b) Private property rights, however, shall not extend to any mineral resources on or beneath any land or to any lands under the seas and waterways of the Republic. All mineral resources in and under the seas and other waterways shall belong to the Republic and be used by and for the entire Republic,
(c) Non-citizen missionary, educational and other benevolent institutions shall have the right to own property, as long as that property is used for the purposes for which acquired; property no longer so used shall escheat to the Republic.
(d) The Republic may, on the basis of reciprocity convey to a foreign government property to be used perpetually for its diplomatic activities. This land shall not be transferred or other wise conveyed to any other party or used for any other purpose, except upon the expressed permission of the Government of Liberia. All property so conveyed may escheat to the Republic in the event of a cessation of diplomatic relations.
(a) The property which a person possesses at the time of marriage or which may afterwards be acquired as a result of one's own labors shall not be held for or otherwise applied to the liquidation of the debts or other obligations of the spouse, whether contracted before or after marriage; nor shall the property which by law is to be secured to a man or a woman be alienated or be controlled by that person's spouse save by free and voluntary consent.
(b) The Legislature shall enact laws to govern the devolution of estates and establish rights of in heritance and descent for spouses of both statutory and customary marriages so as to give adequate protection to the surviving spouses and children of such marriages.
(a) While the in violability of private property shall be guaranteed by the Republic, expropriation may be authorized for the security of the nation in the event of armed conflict or where the public health and safety are endangered or for any other public purposes, provided: (i) that reasons for such expropriation are given; (ii) that there is prompt payment of just compensation; (iii) that such expropriation or the compensation offered may be challenged freely by the owner of the property in a court of law with no penalty for having brought such action; and (iv) that when property taken for public use ceases to be so used, the Republic shall accord the former owner or those entitled to the property through such owner, the right of first refusal to reacquire the property.
(b) All real property held by a person whose certificate of naturalization has been cancelled shall escheat to the Republic, unless such person shall have a spouse and-or lineal heirs who are Liberian citizens, in which case the real property shall be transferred to them in accordance with the intestacy law.
(c) The power of the Legislature to provide punishment for treason or other crimes shall not include a deprivation or forfeiture of the right of inheritance, although its enjoyment by the convicted person shall be postponed during a term of imprisonment judicially imposed; provided that if the convicted person has minor children, the spouse or other relatives in the absence of a spouse, shall administer the same. No punishment shall preclude the inheritance, enjoyment or forfeiture by others entitled thereto of any property which the convicted person at the time of conviction or subsequent thereto may have possessed.
Article 26 Where any person or any association alleges that any of the rights granted under this Constitution or any legislation or directives are constitutionally contravened, that person or association may invoke the privilege and benefit of court direction or order or writ, including a judgment of unconstitutionality; and anyone injured by an act of the Government or any person acting under its authority, whether in property, contract, tort or otherwise, shall have the right to bring suit for appropriate redress. All such suits brought against the Government shall originate in a Claims Court ; appeals from judgments of the Claims Court shall lie directly to the Supreme Court.
(a) All persons who on the coming into force of this Constitution were lawfully citizens of Liberia shall continue to be Liberian citizens.
(b) In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive African culture, values and character of Liberia , only persons who are Negro or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia .
(c) The Legislature shall, adhering to the above standard, prescribe such other qualification criteria for and the procedures by which naturalization may be obtained.
Article 28 Any person, at least one of whose parents was at the time of the person's birth a citizen of Liberia, shall be a citizen of Liberia; provided that where such person shall have acquired the citizenship of another country by virtue of having been born in that country or by virtue of one parent being a citizen of another country, that person must, upon attaining the age of eighteen years, renounce any other citizenship so acquired. Such declaration shall be made before a circuit court in Liberia or before a consular officer of the Republic, if made outside Liberia . A failure to make such renunciation within one year after attaining such age shall result in the forfeiture of Liberian citizenship.
(a) No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality of Liberia except as provided herein or by an act of the Legislature consistent with the provisions of this Constitution; and no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality.
(b) No Liberian female citizen, who by marriage acquires the citizenship of another country, shall lose her Liberian citizenship unless she renounces it.
Article 30 On application made on behalf of the Republic by an authorized official of Government, the circuit court may deprive a citizen of Liberia of his citizenship, whether he be a Liberian by birth or naturalization, on any one or more of the following grounds, and with such exceptions as set forth below;
(a) acquiring the citizenship of another country; or taking an oath or making an affirmative or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state voluntarily;
(b) exercising a free choice to enter or serve in the armed forces of a foreign state, unless prior thereto such entry or ser vice was specifically authorized by the President or the Legislature;
(c) voting in a political election of a foreign country;
(d) acquiring Liberian citizenship by fraud, misrepresentation, concealment of material facts or any other grossly improper or irregular practice; or
(e) making a formal renunciation of his Liberian citizenship before a diplomatic or consular officer of Liberia in a foreign state.
Article 31 The legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature of Liberia which shall consist of two separate houses: A Senate and a House of Representatives, both of which must pass on all legislation. The enacting style shall be: "It is enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature assembled."
Article 32 Citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature: (a) have attained the age of 25 years; and (b) be domiciled in the constituency to be represented not less than one year prior to the time of seeking election
Article 33 Each member of the Legislature, before taking his seat and entering upon the duties of office, shall take and subscribe to a solemn oath or. affirmation, before the presiding officer of the house to which was elected and in the presence of other members of that house, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic and to discharge faithfully the duties of such office.
(a) The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the first working Monday in January and shall sit for not less than 180 working days.
(b) The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least twenty-five percent of the total membership of each house, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special or extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.
Article 35 A simple majority of each house shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a lower number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members. Whenever the House of Representatives and the Senate shall meet in joint session, the presiding officer of the House of Representatives shall preside.
(a) to create new counties and other political sub-divisions, and readjust existing county boundaries;
(b) to provide for the security of the Republic;
(c) to provide for the common defense, to declare war and authorize the executive power to conclude peace; to raise and support the Armed Forces of the Republic, and to make appropriations therefor, provided that no appropriation of money for that use shall be for a longer term than one year; and to make rules for the governance of the Armed Forces of the Republic;
(d) to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, excise and other revenues, to borrow money, to issue currency and mint coins, and to make appropriation for the governance of the Republic, subject to the following qualifications: (i) all revenue bills, whether subsidies, charges, imposts, duties or taxes, and other financial bills, shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. No financial charge shall be established, fixed, laid or levied on any individual, community or locality under any pretext whatsoever, except by legislative enactment; (ii) no monies shall be drawn from the treasury except in consequence of appropriations made by legislative enactment and upon warrant of the President; and no coin shall be minted or national currency issued except by the expressed authority of the Legislature. An annual statement and account of the receipt and expenditure of all public monies shall be submitted by the office of the President to the Legislature and published once a year; (iii) no loans shall be raised by the Government on behalf of the Republic or guarantees given for any public institution or authority otherwise than by or under the authority of a legislative enactment;
(e) to constitute courts inferior to the Supreme Court, including circuit courts, claims courts and such other courts with such prescribed jurisdictional powers as may be deemed necessary for the proper administration of justice throughout the Republic;
(f) to approve treaties, conventions and such other international agreements negotiated or signed on behalf of the Republic;
(g) to regulate trade and commerce between Liberia and other nations;
(h) to establish laws for citizenship, naturalization and residence;
(i) to enact the electoral laws;
(j) to establish various categories of criminal offenses and provide for the punishment thereof;
(k) to make all other laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Republic, or in any department or office thereof.
Article 37 Each bill or resolution which shall have passed both houses of the Legislature shall, before it becomes law, be laid before the President for his approval. If he grants approval, it shall become law. If the President does not approve such bill or resolution, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated. In so doing, the President may disapprove of the entire bill or resolution or any item or items thereof. This veto may be over ridden by the repassage of such bill, resolution or item thereof by a vote of two-thirds of the members voting in each house, in which case it shall become law. If the President does not return the bill or resolution within twenty days after the same shall have been laid before him it shall become law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevents its return. No bill or resolution shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in its title.
Article 38 The Senators and Representatives shall receive from the Republic remuneration for their services to be fixed by law, provided that any increase shall become effective at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
Article 39 In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Electoral Commission thereof. The Electoral Commis sion shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that where such vacancy occurs within three months prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections.
Article 40 Each house shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including the establishment of committees and subcommittees, provided, however, that the committees on revenues and appropriations shall consist of one member from each county. Each house shall enforce order, punish its members for unbecoming conduct, and with a vote of two-thirds of its membership, may expel a member upon trial and conviction of a criminal offense in a court of law or for misconduct. All rules adopted by the Legislature and all actions taken shall conform to the requirements of due process of law laid down in this Constitution. Each house shall publish a Journal of its proceedings and, should any five members request it, the vote of each member shall be recorded.
Article 43 The business of the Legislature shall be conducted in the English language or, when adequate preparations shall have been made, in one or more of the languages of the Republic as the Legislature may by resolution approve.
Article 44 No member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of the functions of his office. Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending at, going to or returning from sessions of the Legislature, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. All acts done or performed or statements made in the chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged, and no legislator shall be punished therefor.
Article 45 The power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested in the Senate. When the President, Vice-President or an associate justice is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; when the Chief Justice, judges of subordinate courts or heads of autonomous commissions and agencies are tried, the most senior associate justice shall preside. No person shall be convicted but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate. Judgments in such cases shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold public office in the Republic; but the party may be tried at law for the same offense. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.
Article 46 Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the legislative functions or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their legislative duties and may be punished by the house concerned by reasonable sanctions after a hearing consistent with due process of law. No sanction shall extend beyond the session of the Legislature wherein it is imposed, and any sanction imposed shall conform to the provisions on Fundamental Rights laid down in this Constitution. Disputes between legislators and non-members which are properly cognizable in the courts shall not be entertained or heard in the Legislature.
Article 47 The Senate shall be composed of Senators elected for a term of eight years by the registered voters in each of the counties, but a Senator elected in a by-election to fill a vacancy created by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, shall be so elected to serve only the remainder of the unexpired term of office. Each county shall elect two Senators and each Senator shall have one vote in the Senate. Senators shall be eligible for re-election.
Article 48 Immediately after the Senate shall have assembled following the first election under this Constitution, the Senators shall by lot be divided as equally as possible into two classes, in no one of which shall the two Senators from a single county be placed. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the second class at the expiration of the eighth year from being sworn into office. In the interest of legislative continuity, one-half of the Senators shall be chosen every fourth year.
Article 49 The Senate shall elect once every four years a President of the Senate who shall be the presiding officer of that body, a Vice-President of the Senate who shall preside in the absence of the President of the Senate, and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the Senate. The President, Vice-President and any other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds ma jority of the members of the Senate.
Article 50 The House of Representatives shall be composed of members elected for a term of four years by the registered voters in each of the legislative constituencies of the counties, but a member of the House of Representatives elected in a by-election to fill a vacancy created by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, shall be elected to serve only the remainder of the unexpired term of the office. Members of the House of Representatives shall be eligible for re-election.
Article 51 The House of Representatives shall elect once every four years a Speaker who shall be the presiding officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker who shall preside in the absence of the Speaker, and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House. The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and any other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the House.
Article 52 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 four years commencing at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections. No person shall be elected President for more than two consecutive terms. He may however be a candidate after the lapse of at least one term.
Article 53 There shall be a Vice-President who shall assist the President in the discharge of his functions. The Vice-President shall be elected on the same political ticket and shall serve the same term as the President. He shall attend meetings of the cabinet and other governmental meetings and shall preside over such agencies and perform such functions as the President shall delegate or deem appropriate, provided that no powers specifically vested in the President by the provisions of this Constitution shall be delegated to the Vice-President.
(a) a natural born Liberian citizen of not less than 35 years of age; and
(b) the owner of unencumbered real property valued at not less than twenty-five thousand dollars.
Article 55 The President and the Vice-President shall, before entering on the execution of the duties of their respective offices, take a solemn oath or affirmation to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic and faithfully execute the duties of the office. The oath or affirmation shall be administered in joint convention of both houses of the Legislature by the Chief Justice or, in his absence, the most senior judicial officer.
(a) cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers;
(b) ambassadors, ministers and consuls;
(c) the Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court and judges of courts of record from a panel submitted to him by the Judicial Service Commission;
(d) superintendents of counties from a list submitted to him by Committees of County Leaders; and
(e) members of the military from the rank of colonel or equivalent and above.
(a) The Superintendents of counties shall: (i) be appointed from a panel of not less than three nor more than five names submitted by the Committees of County Leaders. Each Committee of County Leaders shall consist of the paramount chiefs within the county and one person from each legislative constituency chosen by the people of that constituency at the same time as election to the House of Representatives; (ii) be responsible to the President to facilitate administration in the counties and shall exercise executive powers only. They shall be subject to dismissal by the President upon his own initiative or upon the recommendations of the Committees of County Leaders.
(b) the Committee of County Leaders shall meet at least twice each year to review developments in the county, and after taking a sounding of public opinion and holding consultations with the superintendent, may inform the President through the Minister of Internal Affairs and make recommendations to him regarding the development and administration of the county. The report shall be published not later than ninety days from the date of its presentation to the President.
(a) magistrates and justices of the peace from a list of names submitted by the Judicial Service Commission;
(b) notaries public and such other officers of state as shall be consistent with the operation of an independent civil service and the functions of the Public Service Commission. Notaries public shall hold office for a term of two years but may be removed by the President for just cause. They shall be eligible for reappointment.
Article 59 All cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, ministers and consuls, superintendents of counties and other government officials, both military and civilian, appointed by the President pursuant to this Constitution shall hold their offices at the pleasure of the President.
Article 60 The President shall have the power to conduct the foreign affairs of the Republic and in that connection he is empowered to conclude treaties, conventions and similar international agreements with the concurrence of a majority of each house of the Legislature.
Article 61 The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration's legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.
Article 63 The President and the Vice-President shall receive salaries which shall be determined by the Legislature and be paid by the Republic. Such salaries shall be subject to taxes as defined by law and shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which the President and the Vice-President shall have been elected.
Article 64 The President shall be immune from; any suits, actions or proceedings, judicial or otherwise, and from arrest, detention or other actions on account of any act done by him while President of Liberia pursuant to any provision of this Constitution or any other laws of the Republic. The President shall not, however, be immune from prosecution upon removal from office for the commission of any criminal act done while President.
(a) Whenever a person elected to the office of President dies before being inaugurated into office, the in cumbent President shall act as President until new elections are held. The Electoral Commission shall within sixty days of the death conduct elections for a new President and a new Vice-President. No incumbent who serves as interim President pending such elections shall be a candidate in the new elections,
(b) Whenever the office of the President shall become vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment or otherwise, or the President shall be declared incapable of carrying out the duties and functions of his office in accordance with guidelines and procedures determined by the Legislature, the Vice-President shall succeed to the office of the President.
(c) Whenever the Vice-President-elect dies before being inaugurated or the office of the Vice-President becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, inability or other disability, the President elected on the same ticket with him shall, with the consent of the Senate, appoint, a new Vice-President who shall hold office until the next regular elections are held.
Article 67 Whenever the office of the President and of the Vice-President shall become vacant by reason of removal, death, resignation, inability or other disability of the President and the Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be sworn in as Acting President until the holding of elections to fill the vacancies so created. Should the Speaker be legally incapable or otherwise unable to assume the office of Acting President, then the same shall devolve upon the President of the Senate. In any further line of descent, the office shall devolve in order upon the Deputy Speaker, the Vice-President of the Senate and members of the Cabinet in the order of precedence as established by law. The Electoral Commission shall within ninety days conduct elections for a new President and a new Vice-President.
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Last Modified: Thursday, February 26, 2004 21:10