President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia was on January 16, 2012 inaugurated to begin her second term of office.
But in the midst of the pageantry of President Sirleaf’s inauguration with several world leaders and dignitaries in attendance, major blunders and mis-steps in protocol overshadowed the fanfare as the audience and observers noticed kept murmuring.
One of the most embarrassing and perhaps a constitutional headache and gaff in the administering the Oath of Office to the Liberian President iin keeping with the constitution which dictates as follows:
This Schedule shall form and be an integral part of this Constitution and shall have the same force as any other provision thereof.
2. All public officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, holding office of public trust, shall subscribe to a solemn oath or affirmation as
“I, , do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support, uphold, protect and defend
the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia, bear true faith and
allegiance to the Republic, and will faithfully, conscientiously and impartially
discharge the duties and functions of the office of to the best of my ability.
SO HELP ME GOD.”
As the Chief Justice administered the Oath of Office to the Liberian President, rather than raise her right hand in confirmation to taking an oath and as the country’s constitution dictates and followed by all Liberian President before the 24th Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, she instead was given a microphone through which she repeated the oath as the Chief Justice, Johnnie Lewis administered the oath of office to her and neither did she place her hand on the Holy Bible and kiss it at the finish of the reading of oath as the normal and usual ritual of all Presidents, including President Sirleaf when she was inaugurated the first time in 2006 to her first term of office.
The failure of President Sirleaf to raise her right hand to conform with the constitution and legal essence of taking an oath, which then binds that person to uphold the oath he or her is taking and can be reprimanded if it is breached, raises the stick that, the Liberian President did not take her oath office since it was not done properly and needs to be re-administered just as president Barrack Obama Oath of Office was re-administered the next day by Chief Justice John Roberts the next morning in the White House because the Oath of Office was mistakenly read by the Chief Justice.
In essence, by President Sirleaf not raising her right hand and kissing the “Holy Bible”, raises the question and doubts that she was not constitutionally and legally inaugurated as President and is therefore can not be bound to the oath office of the Liberian Presidency or not under legal and constitution responsibility to uphold the Oath of the Liberian Presidency and laws.
The gaff at the inauguration were so enormous, the Chief of Protocol of the Inauguration, failed to announced several world leaders and dignitaries as well as to announced and usher in the Legislature.