At stake in this Referendum:
- A referendum to amend four articles of Liberia’s constitution.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF
- Head of Government: President Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF
- Assembly: Liberia has a bicameral National Assembly consisting of the Senate with 30 seats* and the House of Representatives with 64 seats**.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 6-year term.
- In the Senate, 15 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies to serve 9-year terms and 15 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies to serve 6-year terms*. In the House of Representatives 64 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 6-year terms.
* Two Senators are elected from each of Liberia's 15 counties. The senatorial candidates receiving the highest number of votes in each of the 15 counties shall be considered Senior Senators and shall have a term of office of 9 years. The senatorial candidates with the next highest number of votes in each county shall be considered Junior Senators and shall have a term of office of 6 years.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- A provision to shorten the residency requirement for the president and vice-president. Article 52(c) of the Liberian Constitution requires that presidential and vice-presidential candidates have been residents of Liberia for ten years prior to their election. This provision will shorten that requirement to five years.
- A provision to increase the mandatory retirement age for all justices to seventy-five. Article 72(b) of the Liberian Constitution currently sets the mandatory retirement age for chief justice, associate Justices of supreme court and judges of the subordinate courts at seventy. This will raise the age to seventy-five.
- A provision to change the date of elections for the presidency and National Assembly. Article 83(a) of the Liberian Constitution sets general elections for "the second Tuesday in October of each election year." This will move elections to the second Tuesday of November.
- A provision to change the the electoral system for the presidency and National Assembly. Article 83(b) of the Liberian Constitution mandates a two-round voting system for both the presidency and National Assembly. This change will keep the two-round provision for the presidency while moving elections for the House and Senate to a traditional, plurality vote system.
- The amendments must be ratified by two-thirds of voters. Each amendment will be voted on separately.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 4,079,574 (2011)
- Registered Voters: 1,798,930 (2011)
· Female Population: 2,027,070 (2011)
· Is Liberia a signatory to CEDAW: No
· Has Liberia ratified CEDAW: Yes, accession (17 July 1984)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 8 (following the 2011 elections)
· Human Development Index Position: 177 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Very High (2014)
· Is Liberia a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 March 2007)
· Has Liberia ratified CRPD: Yes (26 July 2012)
· Population with a disability: 611,936 (est.)