MONROVIA, March 16 (LINA) – President George Manneh Weah has mandated all appointed officials of Government aspiring to contest elective positions in the upcoming October 10, 2023, Presidential and Legislative Elections to resign on or before April 7, 2023.
The President’s instruction in Executive Order #117 issued Tuesday, March 14, 2023, is consistent with the amended Sections 5.2 and 10.2 of the 2014 Code of Conduct of Liberia enacted, approved and printed into handbills on December 29, 2022.
President Weah, according to an Executive Mansion release issued here, acknowledged that the objectives of the Code of Conduct is to dissociate the fiduciary duty of trust, integrity and loyalty owed by public officials to the people from their personal desires to contest elections at the expense of public resources.
Reminding appointed public officials, the President’s executive order states: “All officials appointed by the President, including all Cabinet Ministers, Deputy and Assistant Cabinet Ministers, Ambassadors, Minister Consuls, Superintendents of Counties and other government officials, both military and civilian, appointed by the President pursuant to Article 56 (a) of the 1986 Constitution, and any Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, Assistant Managing Director of corporation owned by the Government of Liberia, shall resign his or her position one (1) year before the date on which the election for the post for which he/she intends to contest.”
The President’s mandate applies to Deputy and Assistant Commissioners of any commission established by the Legislature, and any official of government who negotiates and executes contracts, procures goods and services, and/or manages assets for and on behalf of the Government of Liberia, who desires to canvass or contest for an elective public office within the Government of Liberia.
The Liberian Chief Executive, however, acknowledged that with about seven months to the conduct of elections on October 10, 2023, the amended Act can’t prevent public officials from contesting in said elections.
According to him, the government still has compelling interest to create what he calls « a level playing political field to prevent Liberia’s competitive politics from unfair and undue advantages. »
The Constitution vests the President with executive power to issue Executive Orders in the public interest, either to meet an emergency or to correct situations that can’t wait for the lengthy legislative process.