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Thursday, April 18, 2024

CLLR. SYRENIUS CEPHUS: “NO TENURE POSITION FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS UNDER ARTICLE 56 OF 1986 CONSTITUTION OF LIBERIA”

Date:

In a recent opinion piece, legal expert Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus highlighted the extensive powers granted to the President of Liberia under the 1986 Constitution. The article emphasized that Article 56 of the Constitution empowers the President to appoint and dismiss public officials at will, without the need for cause, ensuring the President’s unrestricted authority in governing the nation.

The analysis underscored that the President, as the Head of State and Government, possesses exclusive executive powers as outlined in Article 50 of the Constitution. This grants the President the authority to preside over Liberia without hindrance, serving as the sovereign Head of State, Head of Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Cllr. Cephus emphasized that all cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, and other government officials appointed by the President under the Constitution hold their offices at the pleasure of the President, as explicitly stated in Article 56. This provision aims to prevent divided loyalties within the government structure, ensuring a cohesive administration.

The legal expert argued against the existence of tenure positions for public officials beyond the lifespan of the Appointing Authority, emphasizing that any statutory provisions conflicting with the Constitution must yield to the Constitution’s supremacy. This stance reinforces the President’s discretionary power to appoint public officials in alignment with the Constitution.

Moreover, Cllr. Cephus drew parallels between the President’s appointment of public officials and a lessor-lessee relationship, illustrating that the authority granted by the President ceases to exist upon the President’s tenure completion. This interpretation highlights the temporary nature of appointments under Article 56, aligning with the constitutional framework.

The article cautioned against retaining public officials appointed by previous administrations, citing potential challenges in implementing the current government’s agenda. It stressed the importance of political loyalty and alignment with the governing vision to drive effective governance and minimize conflicts of interest.

In conclusion, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus reiterated that there are no tenure positions within the scope of Article 56 of the 1986 Constitution. The piece emphasized the necessity of aligning statutory provisions with constitutional mandates and highlighted the President’s prerogative in appointing public officials to uphold effective governance in Liberia.

Author: Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus

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