Liberia: Country and Foreign Investment
Following the resignation of President Taylor in June 2003, Businessman Gyude Bryant was chosen to lead a transitional government at peace talks in Accra, Ghana, attended by all Liberian Political parties, the Government, civil society, and the warring factions, including Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD) and Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) in August 2003. Under the terms of the Accra Peace agreement, the Transitional Government is composed of persons from the erstwhile Taylor Government, the warring factions, political parties and civil society.
To support the transition from war to peace, the United Nations deployed a Peace Keeping Mission in Liberian (UNMIL) to disarm, demobilize, and resettle all former combatants in the conflict, and to work with the Transitional Government toward the creation of an enabling environment for national reconciliation and for the holding of free and fair democratic elections. These were held in October 2005, with a runoff election between the two leading candidates on 8 November 2005. Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF was elected President, and is both the chief of state and head of government. Elections were last held in November 2011 and Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF was re-elected. The next elections are due to take place in 2017.
Constitutionally, Liberia has a republican form of government with three equal and coordinated branches with separation of powers they provide checks and balances. The Executive branch is headed by the President, who is elected by popular vote for a six-year term, and can be re-elected for another six year term, but cannot hold office for more than two terms. The President is the head of Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and is responsible for execution of the laws of the country.
The Legislature is the law making body and consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, each serving as the negative to the other; The Senate consists of 30 senators elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms. The House of Representatives, comprising 64 representatives is also elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms.
The Judiciary includes the Supreme Court headed by a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices, appointed by the President upon the approval and consent of the Senate. The Judiciary also consists of Circuit Courts (one in each county), and several courts of record and courts not of record.
Liberia has a dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American common law and customary law based on unwritten tribal practices, both of which are subject to the Constitution. There have been increasing calls for the harmonization of statutory and customary laws in light of the constitutional provisions of equality before the law, and equal protection of the law. Many of the statutory laws of Liberia are patterned on that of the United States of America and can be found in the Liberian Code of Laws Revised 1972, and acts amendatory thereto.