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Weah Ignores Code Of Conduct? -Allows Gov’t Officials Resign six months Prior To Election 

The Code of Conduct for government appointees states that whoever desires to canvass or contest for an elective public office within the Government of Liberia shall resign his or her position one year before the date on which the election for the post for which he/she intends to contest.

According to the Act, those referred to include all officials appointed by the President including cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, ministers consuls, superintendents of counties and other Government officials, both military and civilian, pursuant to Article 56(a) of the 1986 Constitution, and any managing director, deputy managing director, assistant managing director of corporation owned by the Government of Liberia, any commissioner, deputy and assistant commissioner of any commission established by the Legislature, and any official of the Government who negotiates and executes contracts, procures goods and services, and/or manages assets for and on behalf of the Government of Liberia.

However, a release quoted President George Manneh Weah as mandating all appointed officials of the government aspiring to contest elective positions in the impending October 10, 2023, Presidential and Legislative Elections to resign on or before April 7, 2023.

The drafters of said release stated that the President’s order is contained in Executive Order #117 issued Tuesday, March 14, 2023, is consistent with amended Sections 5.2 and 10.2 of the 2014 Code of Conduct enacted, approved and printed in handbills on December 29, 2022.

President Weah acknowledged that the objectives of the Code of Conduct is to dissociate the fiduciary duty of trust, integrity and loyalty owed by public officials to the people from their personal desires to contest elections at the expense of public resources.

The Liberian Chief Executive, however, acknowledged that with about seven months to the conduct of elections on October 10, 2023, the amended Act cannot prevent public officials from contesting in said elections.

According to him, the government still has compelling interest to create what he calls “a level plain political field to prevent Liberia’s competitive politics from unfair and undue advantages.”

The Constitution vests the President Executive Power to issue Executive Orders in the public interest, either to meet an emergency or to correct situations that can’t wait the lengthy legislative process.

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