George Weah clears air on seeking third term as Liberia’s President

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Liberian President George Weah will not stay in office beyond a second term, his chief of staff said Tuesday, quashing rumors he would mimic regional leaders and bid for a third.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Monrovia, the president’ chief of staff Nathaniel McGill pointed out Weah, a footballing icon took office in 2018, had not even finished his first presidential term.

“It is not good for one man to be president for a long time,” he said. “The president is not thinking about a third term.”

Speculation had been growing in the West African nation 54-year-old Weah would exploit a December 8 constitutional referendum to extend his stay in office.

The rumors surfaced amid concerns over democratic backsliding in the , with ageing presidents changing constitutions in order to bypass term limits.

In Guinea, 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term Saturday after pushing a new constitution, which allowed him to bypass a -term limit.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, 78, is also bidding for a controversial third term October 31, after having revised the country’ constitution.

Liberia’ December referendum will ask whether to reduce presidential terms from six years to five.

A limit presidential terms will be kept in place.

will also decide whether to allow dual nationality — a divisive issue in the poor nation of some 4.8 million .

Current legislation stipulates that only indigenous Africans can become naturalised as citizens.

The restrictions chiefly impact Liberia’s ethnic Lebanese residents, play an important economic role in the country.

Liberia was founded in the 19th century with US support as a for freed American slaves. Its constitution is modelled on that of the US.

The country suffers from economic woes, however, and is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and West Africa’s 2014-16 .


The Nation