President Sirleaf says she had no hand in the determination of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to name Charles Sirleaf as Acting Executive Governor of the CBL. She has also made it clear that during the recruitment process for the Bank’s new executive governor, Mr. Sirleaf will not be a candidate.
It is not clear, however, how long the recruitment for the executive governor post is expected to take, which would be the same length of time Mr. Sirleaf would remain in the acting post. According to Section 14 of the CBL Act creating the CBL, “If a member of the Board of Governors dies, or resigns or is otherwise removed from office before the expiry of the term for which he has been appointed, another person shall be appointed in his place, within two weeks, to complete the un-expired period…”
Section 11(1) of the act says: “During the absence or disability of the Executive Governor or during any vacancy in the office of the Executive Governor, the Deputy Governor shall exercise the powers and duties of that office, except as Chairman of the Board of Governors.”
Of the two Deputy Governors at the CBL, Charles Sirleaf and Boima Kamara, Sirleaf (Deputy Governor for Operations) is the more senior in rank.
However, pundits are sharply reminded of the tenure Mary T. Broh, who was appointed by President Sirleaf as Acting City Mayor of Monrovia. Broh remained an ‘Acting Mayor’ throughout her term, which lasted more than 3 years, as she could not get approval from the Senate, who insisted, among other things, that the City Mayor be elected. A controversy that erupted between her and members of the National Legislature forced President Sirelaf to have her reassigned. Broh currently serves Director of the General Services Agency (GSA).
Since the naming of Mr. Sirleaf by the CBL Board of Governors, there have been mixed-reactions in the public, with some believing that President Sirleaf influenced her son’s appointment to the post, while some disagree, drawing on the CBL Act.
While there is no evidence of her hand in the election of her son to the acting governorship, President Sirleaf did in fact appoint Charles to the Deputy Governorship years ago, in keeping with Section 10(1) of the CBL Act, which states, “The Executive Governor and the Deputy Governor shall be appointed by the President for a term of five (5) years each from among individuals of standing or experience in financial and economic matters, subject to confirmation by the Liberian Senate, on such terms and conditions as may be specified by the Board of Governors.”
Mr. Sirleaf, said to be a highly experienced banker, joined the CBL in January 2004 and served in various departments, including banking and finance, and was later named Deputy Governor for Operations, a position he held until he was elected Acting CBL Governor at the age of 58.
Acting Governor Sirleaf holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. He also earned the MBA degree in finance from Mercer University in Atlanta, Ga. (USA).
In keeping with the CBL Act, Charles Sirleaf as “the Deputy Governor, shall exercise the powers and duties of that office, except as Chairman of the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors shall elect a chairman for any meeting in which the Executive Governor and Chairman of the Board of Governors is absent. The Board of Governors shall make provision in the by-laws for the simultaneous absence or disability of the Executive Governor and the Deputy Governor respectively.”