Neopatrimonialism: The Immense Power of Appointment of the Liberian Presidency

Stephen H. Gobewole


This study examines important factors of disenfranchisement of political subdivisions in Liberia, especially counties and districts due largely to the presidential power of appointment. The study analyzes survey, empirical, and constitutional amendment data gathered by Afrobarometer (Round 7 Survey), election statistics, and public officials’ appointment information. It then correlates associations between the number of county executives, presidential tenure, and referendum approvals to demonstrate a diminishment of democracy due to denying citizens’ right to vote for their local leaders. This has resulted from a gradual enhancement of the Liberian president’s power of appointment, which developed neopatrimonialism in Liberia and continues to foster a patronage system of governance that increases public corruption, a practice that has minimized state capacity, fostered state instability, and raised the potential for conflict.

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International Journal of Law and Public Administration   ISSN 2576-2192 (Print)     ISSN 2576-2184 (Online)

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