Liberia’s Weah denies he will seek third term in office

Liberian President George Weah gestures as he speaks with students as he visits the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, in Paris on February 20, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Liberia’s President-elect and former football star George Weah delivers a speech during his swearing-in ceremony on January 22, 2018 in Monrovia.
To the cheers of a crowd fired by his promise to bring them jobs and prosperity, former football star George Weah was sworn in as president of Liberia on January 22, completing the country’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liberian President George Weah will not stay in office beyond a second term, his chief of staff said Tuesday, quashing rumors that he would mimic regional leaders and bid for a third term.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Monrovia, the president’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill pointed out that Weah, a footballing icon who took office in 2018, had not even finished his first presidential term.

“It is not good for one man to be president for a long time,” he said.

“The president is not thinking about a third term.”

Speculation had been growing in the West African nation that 54-year-old Weah would exploit a December 8 constitutional referendum to extend his stay in office.

Liberia’s December referendum will ask voters whether to reduce presidential terms from six years to five.

A limit on two presidential terms will be kept in place.

Voters will also decide whether to allow dual nationality — a divisive issue in the poor nation of some 4.8 million people. Current legislation stipulates that only indigenous Africans can become naturalized as citizens.

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