SPECIAL EDITION ON THE REFERENDUM: Proposition 5—Reduction In Tenure For The Speaker, Other House Officials

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Ballot sample for Proposition 5

In line with Proposition 4, which proposes the reduction in tenure for members of the House of Representatives, Proposition 5 of the 2020 National Referendum also proposes the reduction in tenure for elected officials of the House of Representatives, including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other officials, from six (6) years to five (5) years.

   In the minds of the framers of the Official Gazette of the 2020 National Referendum, the proposed amendment of Article 49 is necessary because it merely makes the term of office of the Speaker and other officers of the House of Representatives to be the same as the term for the members of the House of Representatives—five years.

   Article 49 reads, “The House of Representatives shall elect once every six years a Speaker who shall be the Presiding Officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House. The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the House.”

   If amended, Article 49 will read, “The House of Representatives shall elect once every five years a Speaker who shall be the Presiding Officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House. The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the House.”

   According to the Official Gazette, Proposition 5 affords the Liberian voter the opportunity to decide whether or not the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other officers of the House of Representatives should serve for five years instead of six years.

   One voting “yes” on Proposition 5 will be in agreement that the Constitutional tenure for the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other officers of the House of Representatives be reduced from six (6) years to five (5); one voting “no” will be against the tenure reduction of these officials.

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