Vice President of Liberia
|Vice President of the
Republic of Liberia
|Style||Mr. Vice President
|Term length||Six years|
|Inaugural holder||Nathaniel Brander|
|Formation||Constitution of Liberia
July 26, 1847
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia is the second-highest executive official in Liberia, and one of only two elected executive offices along with the President. The Vice President is elected on the same ticket with the president to a six-year term. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of the president, the Vice President ascends to the presidency, which he or she holds for the remainder of their predecessor's term. The Vice President also serves as the President of the Senate and may cast a vote in the event of a tie. The current Vice President is Joseph Boakai, serving under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He began his term on January 16, 2006.
Article 52 of the Constitution lays out the qualifications for candidates for vice president. To be eligible for office under the current Constitution, a vice presidential candidate must:
- be a natural born citizen of Liberia;
- be at least thirty-five years old;
- own real property valued at least $25,000;
- have resided in Liberia for at least ten years.
Additionally, the vice president may not reside in the same county as the president.
Under Article 63(b), the Vice President ascends to the presidency in the event of president's death, resignation, impeachment, or when the president is declared incapable of carrying out the duties of the office. In the event of ascension, the Vice President serves as president for the remainder of his or her predecessor's term, though this period is not considered a term for the purposes of term limits to the presidency. According to Article 63(a), should the president-elect die or become otherwise incapacitated before his or her inauguration, the Vice President-elect is sworn in as president in their place, though a term of this nature does constitute a term for the purposes of determining term limits.
To date, five Vice Presidents have ascended to the presidency, either due to the president's death, resignation, or removal from office: James Skivring Smith, Alfred Francis Russell, William D. Coleman, William R. Tolbert Jr., and Moses Blah.
There have been twelve vacancies in the office, the first of which occurred between October 26, 1871 and January 1, 1872; after the ascension of James Skivring Smith to the office of President. The most recent vacancy was between August 11, 2003 and January 16, 2006; after the ascension of Moses Blah to the office of President and prior to the election of Joseph Boakai.
- Political parties
|Term of Office||Party||Term
|January 3, 1848||January 7, 1850||Independent||1.
|2||Anthony D. Williams
|January 7, 1850||January 2, 1854||Independent||2.
|3||Stephen Allen Benson
|January 2, 1854||January 7, 1856||Independent||4.
|4||Beverly Page Yates
|January 7, 1856||January 2, 1860||Independent||5.
|5||Daniel Bashiel Warner
|January 2, 1860||January 4, 1864||Independent||7.
|6||James M. Priest
|January 4, 1864||January 6, 1868||Republican Party||9.
|January 6, 1868||January 3, 1870||Republican Party||11.
|8||James Skivring Smith
|January 3, 1870||October 26, 1871
|True Whig Party||12.
|Vacancy by ascension||October 26, 1871||January 1, 1872||Smith|
|9||Anthony W. Gardiner
|January 1, 1872||January 3, 1876||Republican Party||13.
|January 3, 1876||January 7, 1878||Republican Party||15.
|11||Alfred Francis Russell
|January 7, 1878||January 20, 1883
|True Whig Party||16.
|Vacancy by ascension||January 20, 1883||January 7, 1884||Russell|
|January 7, 1884||January 4, 1892||True Whig Party||19.
|13||William D. Coleman
|January 4, 1892||November 12, 1896
|True Whig Party||23.
|Vacancy by ascension||November 12, 1896||January 3, 1898||Coleman|
|14||Joseph J. Ross
|January 3, 1898||October 24, 1899
|True Whig Party||26.
|Vacancy by death||October 24, 1899||January 6, 1902|
|15||Joseph D. Summerville
|January 6, 1902||July 27, 1905
|True Whig Party||28.
|Vacancy by death||July 27, 1905||January 1, 1906|
|16||James Jenkins Dossen
|January 1, 1906||January 1, 1912||True Whig Party||30.
|17||Samuel George Harmon
|January 1, 1912||January 5, 1920||True Whig Party||32.
|18||Samuel Alfred Ross
|January 5, 1920||January 1, 1924||True Whig Party||34.
|19||Henry Too Wesley
|January 1, 1924||January 2, 1928||True Whig Party||35.
|January 2, 1928||December 3, 1930
|True Whig Party||36.
|Vacancy by resignation||December 3, 1930||1930||E. Barclay|
|21||James Skivring Smith, Jr.
|1930||January 3, 1944||True Whig Party|
|22||Clarence Lorenzo Simpson
|January 3, 1944||January 1, 1952||True Whig Party||39.
|23||William R. Tolbert Jr.
|January 1, 1952||July 23, 1971
|True Whig Party||40.
|Vacancy by ascension||July 23, 1971||April 1972||45.
|24||James Edward Greene
|April 1972||July 22, 1977
|True Whig Party|
|Vacancy by death||July 22, 1977||October 31, 1977|
|25||Bennie Dee Warner
|October 31, 1977||April 12, 1980
|True Whig Party||[note 9]|
|Vacancy due to coup d'état||April 12, 1980||January 6, 1986||[note 10]|
|January 6, 1986||September 9, 1990
|National Democratic Party||47.
|Vacancy due to First Liberian Civil War||September 9, 1990||August 2, 1997||[note 11]|
|August 2, 1997||June 24, 2000
|National Patriotic Party||48.
|Vacancy by death||June 24, 2000||July 24, 2000|
|July 24, 2000||August 11, 2003||National Patriotic Party|
|Vacancy by ascension||August 11, 2003||October 3, 2003||Blah|
|Vacancy due to 2003 Accra Accord||October 3, 2003||January 16, 2006||[note 12]|
|January 16, 2006||Incumbent
(Term expires on January 16, 2018)
- President Roye was forcibly removed from office on October 26, 1871. Vice President Smith was sworn in and served the remaining two months of Roye's presidency with no vice president.
- On 1 January 1878, six days prior to the inauguration of Anthony Gardiner as president, the House of Representatives impeached and suspended President Payne from office. Vice President Harmon served as acting president for the final six days of the administration.
- President Gardiner resigned from office after falling seriously ill. Vice President Russell served as president for the remaining year of Gardiner's term with no vice president.
- President Cheeseman died in office. Vice President Coleman served as president for the remainder of Cheeseman's term with no vice president, and then was elected president in his own right in 1897 with Joseph J. Ross as his vice president.
- Vice President Ross died in 1900, leaving President Coleman without a vice president. On December 11, 1900, Coleman resigned, and Secretary of State Gibson served as president for the remainder of Coleman's term without a vice president, before being elected in his own right in 1901 with Joseph D. Summerville as his vice president.
- Vice President Summerville died in July 27, 1905 following his and President Gibson's reelection but prior to their inauguration. As no mechanism existed for replacing a vice president, which would have left Gibson without a vice president for his entire term, a constitutional amendment was ratified that year allowing for the president to call a special election in the absence of a vice president to fill the vacancy. J. J. Dossen won the special election in 1905 and was inaugurated along with Gibson in 1906.
- Both President King and Vice President Yancy resigned on December 3, 1930. Secretary of State Barclay was inaugurated as president, and Vice President James Skivring Smith, Jr. was elected in a special election soon after.
- President Tubman died following his and Tolbert's reelection in 1971, but prior to his inauguration. Tolbert served the remainder of Tubman's sixth term before being inaugurated for Tubman's elected seventh term.
- Warner was ousted along with the rest of the government by the Armed Forces of Liberia.
- During 1980-1981 Thomas Weh Syen was Doe's second-in-command in the military administration. Weh Syen was in charge on vice-presidential duties. After Weh Syen was executed on Doe's orders, he was replaced as Vice Head of State by J. Nicholas Podier.
- Roland Diggs served as Vice President in the administration of Amos Sawyer from August 1990 to April 1991. He was succeeded in April 1991 by Peter Naigow, who also resigned. There were many Deputy Chairman of Council of State of Liberia 1993-1997, including Dorothy Musuleng-Cooper, Dexter Bah Tahyor, Isaac Mussah, Charles Taylor, G. V. Kromah, George E. S. Boley, Oscar Jaryee Quiah, Tamba Taylor and Victoria Refell.
- During this time, the National Transitional Government of Liberia was in charge of government duties. Vice-Chairman Wesley Momo Johnson assumed the duties and powers of the office of vice-president during part of this period.
- Sims, James L.; Seymour, George L.; Benjamin J. K. Anderson; James Fairhead (2003). African-American Exploration in West Africa: Four Nineteenth-Century Diaries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 72. ISBN 0-253-34194-9.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "Weh-Syen Weeps?" The Monrovia Express 1981-08-12: 1/8.