Liberia’s electoral empire said in a statement on Thursday, 1 April 2021 that a national referendum to grant dual citizenship to Liberians, reduce the tenure of elected public officials among others, had been rejected by the electorate at polls held on 8 December 2020.
President George Weah and his government had backed the eight propositions of the referendum that the opposition denounced and rallied voters to reject.
Had votes on the propositions passed, the tenure of president of the republic would have been reduced from six to five years whilst the tenures of senators and representatives of the national legislature would have been cut down similarly.
However, a suspecting opposition campaigned against the referendum saying that acceptance of its propositions would set the tune for a new constitutional debate on a third term for President Weah, who is still serving the first of a two term under the current constitutional arrangements.
The rejection of the referendum and the loss of major seats in the senate election that took place simultaneously as the referendum underlined all but one thing –Weah’s plummeting popularity –owing to the poor management of the nation’s economy, occasioned by inflation and perceived corruption in the administration.
But would the rejection of the referendum have an impact on his reelection in 2023?
My colleague Adolphus Mawolo has been speaking to Liberian political analyst Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei.