By Ben T.C. Brooks
Citizens of Grand Gedeh County are yearning for the limitation of tenures and terms for elected officials to avoid the election field being over crowded with contestants.
36-year old Isaiah Kannah, who is the program manager of Mitigating Local Dispute in Liberia (MLDL) in the county, informed reporters that a senator’s tenure should be reduced from nine to seven years and not more than two terms, which should also affect the House of Representatives.
Liberia’s 1986 Constitution provides that a President and a Representative are elected for a six-year tenure with limited term of two for the Presidency, while Representatives and Senators have no term limits following their respective tenure of six and nine years respectively.
Kannah maintained that current tenure of six years respectively for president and representative should still remain at six years as provided in the Liberia’s 1986 Constitution.
He added that in times past, people served for prolonged periods, but Liberia is yet to benefit from significant socioeconomic developments.
Business woman Sarah Brown Tweh, said the reduction of term and tenure in the Liberian Constitution will spur elected officials to work harder to meet the needs of their people.
Meanwhile, some students said the Constitution should not be seen as the Holy Bible, “because it was written by the same Liberian people, and so, it can be reviewed, especially in terms and tenure of elected officials.”
The students said laws, constitution, and rules are decided and written by people based on their will and current situation.
“Today, we are in the 21st century, same country, different learning experiences, different ways and life styles, so we are calling on our one legislators to review our constitution,” the students said.
When contacted via mobile phone, Grand Gedeh County senior elections magistrate, Arthur Dougee, said his office is not clothed with the authority to make any change to the Liberian Constitution, rather the citizens by their demand.
“We are only given the authority to regulate elections guidelines during elections, and not to call for any change within the Constitution on any clause pertaining to elections,” Mr. Dougee said.