Liberian President George Weah will not stay in office beyond a second term, his chief of staff said Tuesday, quashing rumors that he would mimic regional leaders and bid for a third.
Addressing a news conference in the capital Monrovia, the president’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill pointed out that Weah, a footballing icon who 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 that 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 region, with ageing presidents changing constitutions in order to bypass term limits.
Current legislation stipulates that only indigenous Africans can become naturalised as citizens.
The restrictions chiefly impact Liberia’s ethnic Lebanese residents, who play an important economic role in the country.
Liberia was founded in the 19th century with US support as a home for freed American slaves. Its constitution is modelled on that of the US.