Referendum today


Around 1.8 million Liberian voters will be given the opportunity to vote in a referendum today to vote on four amendments to the constitution. Each of the four amendments have to be voted on individually and each must be approved by two thirds of the those voting.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Unity Party are supporting the four measures as are the opposition Liberal Party. The National Patriotic Party are reportedly voting against and the Congress for Democratic Change has urged voters to boycott the referendum.

The four points on which Liberians will be voting are:

1. Reducing the residency requirement for presidential and vice-presidential candidates from 10 years to five years.

2. Increase the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court judges from 70 to 75.

3. Moving the date for presidential and parliamentary elections from the second Tuesday in October to the second Tuesday in November.

4. Changing the voting system for parliamentary and municipal elections to a simple first past the post system. Currently, candidates have to have an absolute majority of votes (i.e. more than 50%). If they don’t then there is a second round runoff. The second round runoff would remain for presidential and vice presidential contests.

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