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Blogs: Liberia Elections Editorial
Supreme Court Must Be Upright In Deciding Residency Clause
Tuesday 6th September 2011
From all indications, it would appear that the issue regarding the eligibility of candidates applying to contest the presidency and the vice presidency for the Republic of Liberia in the next month’s national elections would be put to the Supreme Court.

Article 52 c, of the Liberian Constitution states that: No person shall be eligible to hold the office of president or vice president, unless that person is : Resident in the Republic ten years prior to his election, provided that the president and the vice president shall not come from the same county.

In view of the constitutional provision, there is an opinion that some candidates, including the incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, do not qualify since they would not have resided in Liberia ten years to next month’s elections.

Notwithstanding, there are others who, due to the perceived ambiguity of the 10 year residency clause, are of the view that Madam Sirleaf and others are eligible to contest the presidency because Article 52 c did not explicitly say “ten years immediately prior to the election..”

Attempts by the government through a recent national referendum to reduce the 10 year residency clause to 5 years was defeated at the polls.

It is at this juncture that we implore the Supreme Court to be upright in its interpretation of the residency clause.
The Supreme Court needs to be firmed in this manner because its interpretations of the laws are always final.

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