Powersharing Transitional Government: Accra Peace Agreement

ARTICLE XX: INTERIM PERIOD

1. (a) With the exit of the President Charles Taylor of the Republic of Liberia, the GOL shall be headed by the Vice President for an interim period.

(b) The Vice President shall assume the duties of the current President for a period not beyond 14th October, 2003, whereupon the Transitional Government provided for in this Agreement shall be immediately installed.

ARTICLE XXI: ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT

1. An all-inclusive Transitional Government to be called the National Transitional Government of Liberia, (NTGL), is hereby established to replace the present Government of Liberia.

2. The NTGL shall be inaugurated and fully commence operations by 14th October, 2003 and its mandate shall expire on the third Monday of January 2006 when the next elected Government of Liberia shall be inaugurated.

3. Immediately upon the installation of the NTGL in Liberia, all cabinet Ministers, Deputy and Assistant Ministers, heads of autonomous agencies, commissions, heads of public corporations and State-owned enterprises of the current GOL shall be deemed to have resigned. This does not preclude re-appointment according to the appropriate provisions of this Agreement.

4. The authority of the NTGL shall be established and recognized throughout the territory of the Republic of Liberia, immediately upon its installation in Monrovia. The NTGL shall have control over the entire territory of Liberia.

5. The LURD, MODEL, and all irregular forces of the GOL shall cease to exist as military forces, upon completion of disarmament.

6. There shall be no restriction on members of the LURD and MODEL to engage in national politics through the formation of political parties or otherwise, save and except those restrictions imposed on all parties and associations by the relevant laws of Liberia.

ARTICLE XXII: MANDATE OF THE NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA

The primary responsibility of the NTGL shall be to ensure the scrupulous implementation of this Peace Agreement.

2. In addition to normal State functions, its mandate shall include the following:

(a) Implementation of the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement;

(b) Overseeing and coordinating implementation of the political and rehabilitation programs enunciated in this Peace Agreement;

(c) Promotion of reconciliation to ensure the restoration of peace and stability to the country and its people;

(d) Contribution to the preparation and conduct of internationally supervised elections in October 2005, for the inauguration of an elected Government for Liberia in January 2006.

ARTICLE XXIII: STRUCTURE OF THE NTGL

The NTGL shall consist of three branches, namely:

(i) The National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA);
(ii) The Executive; and
(iii) The Judiciary.

ARTICLE XXIV: THE NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (NTLA)

1. There is hereby established a National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) in Liberia which shall reflect a broad spectrum of the Liberian Society.

2. The NTLA shall be unicameral in nature and shall replace, within the transitional period, the entire Legislature of the Republic of Liberia.

3. The NTLA shall have a maximum of seventy-six (76) members who shall come from the following entities:

(a) Each of the fifteen (15) Counties;

(b) The present Government of Liberia, the LURD, MODEL, the Political Parties, Civil Society and Interest Groups including the National Bar Association, the Liberian Business Organizations, Women Organizations, Trade Unions, Teachers Union, Refugees, the Liberians in the Diaspora/America and the Youth.

4. The formula for the composition of the NTLA shall be as follows: GOL (12 seats), LURD (12 seats), MODEL (12 seats), Political Parties (18 seats), Civil Society and Special Interest Groups (7 seats), Counties (15 seats).

5. (a) Selection of members of the NTLA shall be carried out in Liberia and shall be subject to internal consultations amongst the different entities identified in paragraphs 3 and 4 above.

(b) The Mediation Committee from the Accra Peace Talks may be present during consultations for the selection of members of the Legislative Assembly and shall ensure that the members of the Assembly meet the criteria prescribed in Appendix 1 to Annex 2.

6. (a) The NTLA shall elect a Speaker to head the Assembly as well as one (1) Deputy Speaker.

(b) Guidelines for the elections are defined under Annex 2 which is attached to this Agreement and is an integral part of the Peace Agreement.

(c) The Speaker and Deputy Speaker within the NTGL shall not contest for any elective office during the 2005 elections.

7. The NTLA shall have responsibility for the following:

(a) Assuming responsibility for the country's legislative functions;

(b) Approving the policies and programs of the NTGL for implementation by the Cabinet;

(c) Encouraging and supporting the emergence of a new democratic space, particularly in the areas of human rights and freedom of expression.

8. Two-thirds (2/3) of members of the NTLA shall form the quorum for meetings of the Assembly.

9. The decisions of the NTLA shall require the approval of at least 51% of the entire membership of the NTLA.

10. The NTLA shall adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of its proceedings.

ARTICLE XXV: THE EXECUTIVE

1. The NTGL shall be headed by a person to be called the Transitional Chairman. The Transitional Chairman shall be assisted by a Transitional Vice-Chairman.

2. Selection of the Transitional Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be by consensus arising from a process of consultations undertaken by the accredited delegates and observers to the Peace Talks. The selection procedure is defined in Annex 2 to this Agreement.

3. The positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be allocated to the Political Parties and the Civil Society.

4. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman, as well as all principal Cabinet Ministers within the NTGL shall not contest for any elective office during the 2005 elections to be held in Liberia.

ARTICLE XXVI: THE CABINET

1. The NTGL shall maintain the profile and structure of the Executive Branch of the present Government of Liberia.

2. In addition to the Commissions established by this Agreement, all existing public corporations and autonomous Agencies/Commissions shall operate under the present transitional arrangement, excluding the existing Commissions that have already been referred to under Articles XII and XIII of this Agreement.

3. The ministers, deputy and assistant ministers, heads of autonomous agencies, commissions, public corporations and state-owned enterprises, who should preferably be technocrats, shall be representatives of a broad cross-section of the Liberian society.

4. Allocation of ministerial positions, deputy and assistant ministerial positions, headship of autonomous agencies, commissions, public corporations and state-owned enterprises shall be made to the Parties to this Agreement through a process of negotiation. The allocations as agreed to by the Parties are contained in Annex 4 attached to the Agreement. Annex 4 is an integral part of this Agreement.

5. (a) The Parties shall forward to the Transitional Chairman within a period of seven (7) days, the name of one nominee for each position allocated to them.

(b) The Transitional Chairman shall within a three (3) day period, forward from the individual list of nominees from the Parties, the candidate for each position, to the NTLA. The NTLA shall, within seven (7) days, confirm or reject the candidate from each of the Parties' list for each position.

(c) Where the NTLA is unable to confirm a candidate from any of the Parties' list so submitted, the Chairman shall, following the same procedure as in 'b' above and within three (3) days of receiving notification of non-confirmation from the NTLA, submit other name(s) which shall be obtained for the relevant Parties to the NTLA. The NTLA shall thereafter, within the same seven (7) day period, make a final selection thereon.

6. The mandate of the Cabinet shall include:

(a) Implementation of the decisions of the NTGL.

(b) Conduct of the usual activities of government ministries.

(c) Initiation of policies and recommendation of same to the Transitional Chairman for approval.

7. The parties call on the United Nations, the ECOWAS, the AU, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, African Development Bank and other international institutions in a position to do so, to assign trained personnel and international experts for the purpose of providing technical support and assistance to the NTGL, especially for the functioning of its ministries and parastatals.

ARTICLE XXVII: THE JUDICIARY

1. The Judiciary shall be the third organ of the NTGL. Its structure shall remain unchanged.

2. Immediately upon the installation of the NTGL, all members of the Supreme Court of Liberia i.e. the Chief Judge and all its Associate Justices shall be deemed to have resigned.

3. Under the NTGL, all new judicial appointments shall be made by the Chairman of the NTGL and approved by the NTLA. Nominations for such judicial appointments shall be based on a shortlist of candidates for each position recommended by the National Bar Association, including the female lawyers.

4. The Chief Justice and all Associate Justices within the NTGL shall not contest for any elective office during the 2005 elections to be held in Liberia.

ARTICLE XXVIII: NATIONAL BALANCE

The Parties shall reflect national and gender balance in all elective and non-elective appointments within the NTGL.

ANNEX 2: ELECTION / SELECTION PROCESS

1. In conformity with Article XXV(2) of the Peace Agreement the following procedure shall be followed for the selection of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the NTGL.

(i) The accredited Political Parties and the Civil Society Organizations at the Accra Peace Talks shall jointly nominate three (3) names each for the different positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.

(ii) The Nominees must meet the qualifying criteria prescribed under Appendix I.

(iii) The Parties to the Ceasefire Agreement of 17 June 2003 shall, after due consideration and by consensus, select one (1) person each out of the two (2) categories of nominees who shall be declared Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the NTGL.

2. Constituting and Selecting Members of the Legislative Assembly in Monrovia

(a) The members of the Legislative Assembly shall be constituted using the formula for allocation of seats prescribed under Article XXIV (4) of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as follows: GOL (12 seats), LURD (12 seats), MODEL (12 seats), Political Parties (18 seats), Civil Society and Special Interest Groups (7 seats), Counties (15 seats)

(b) The members of the Assembly shall be selected after consultations amongst members of each constituting entity of the Assembly, i.e. the GOL, the LURD, the MODEL, Political Parties, Civil Society and Special Interest Groups and the Counties.

(c) Representatives of the ECOWAS Mediation Committee may be present at the consultations for the selection of members of the Legislative Assembly by each constituting entity of the Assembly.

(d) Nominations for the NTLA from this selection process shall be received by this Committee not later than thirty (30) days after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. These nominations will be verified by the ECOWAS Mediation Committee to ensure consistency with the conditions prescribed under appendix I attached.

3. Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the NTLA

(a) There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker elected by the members of the NTLA.

(b) Nominees to the position of Speaker and Deputy Speaker must obtain a minimum of 60% of the votes from the NTLA in order to be elected. For each position and at separately organized elections a nominee with the highest percentage of votes shall be deemed elected to the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

(c) Should the first ballot not result in the minimum percentage votes specified in paragraph 9(b) above, the procedure will be repeated on the basis of three (3) highest scoring candidates. If the minimum percentage requirement has still not been met in the second round, the two highest scoring candidates (from the two separate elections) shall be elected on the basis of a simple majority, and shall be deemed elected Speaker or Deputy Speaker in the separate elections.

(d) The ECOWAS Mediation Committee shall ensure that members of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly meet the criteria prescribed in appendix I attached.

APPENDIX I TO ANNEX 2: QUALIFICATION FOR THE OFFICES OF CHAIRMAN, VICE-CHAIRMAN, SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER FOR THE NTGL

Candidates for the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Transitional Government of Liberia must meet the following criteria:

(a) A natural born Liberian citizen.

(b) 35 years of age or above for the offices of Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

(c) 25 years of age or above for the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

(d) Persons of integrity with no record of conviction for a criminal offense.

(e) Persons who possess demonstrated leadership skills and a record of achievement in the private or public sector.

(f) Persons with minimum educational qualification - high school graduate.

(g) Nominees for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker must be endorsed by a minimum of six (6) members of the Assembly.

(h) No member of the Assembly shall endorse more than one candidate for any of the two offices.

Implementation History

2003

Intermediate Implementation

President Taylor handed over his presidential power to Vice President Moses Blah on 11 August 2003 in accordance with the peace agreement's stipulations.1

The National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) was inaugurated on 14 October 2003. The positions in the cabinet were allocated in accordance with the peace agreement. The Chairman of the NTGL rejected three of the candidates that the LURD nominated for positions in the cabinet. This led to a crisis when the LURD threatened to abandon the peace process. New submissions were subsequently accepted.2 In total, 58/67 of the legislative seats had been filled by December and the NTGL’s legislative assembly had approved of 16 of the nominations for senior government positions.3

  • 1. "Secretary General's Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2003/875), September 11, 2003.
  • 2. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2003/1175), December 15, 2003.
  • 3. Ibid.
2004

Full Implementation

The process of forming the NTGL was disrupted in early 2004, when appointments for assistant ministerial positions, (which was a provision not covered in the peace agreement), began to occur.4

The distribution of 84 assistant ministerial positions was not covered in the peace agreement, and disagreement over this issue caused tension in the NTGL. However, the demands for Chairman Bryant resignation by the leaders of MODEL and LURD were quickly rescinded, and the crisis passed after 66 of the candidates submitted by Chairman Bryant to the Transitional Legislative Assembly were accepted.5

The establishment of a transitional government was completed on January 7, 2004 with the induction of the newly appointed Supreme Court bench. It was reported that “five renowned Liberian lawyers, who were months ago nominated by the Liberia National Bar Association swore at the induction ceremony at the Executive Mansion (State House)."6

  • 4. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/229), March 22, 2004.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. "LIBERIA INDUCTS INTERIM SUPREME COURT JUDGES," Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, January 8, 2004.
2005

Full Implementation

The power-sharing government continued in 2005 and prepared for Senate, Legislature and Presidential elections. The elections took place on October 11, 2005 and a second round of presidential elections on November 8, 2005.

2006

Full Implementation

After the 2006 elections, Liberia returned to a normalized political process by completing the transitional government provision of the Accra Peace Agreement 2003. The new government was installed in January 2006.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.