Fourteen Senators yesterday issued a position paper in which they signed to officially transact Legislative business with the ‘constitutionally elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Alex Tyler.’
According to the paper read to Legislative reporters at the Capitol Building, the Senators pledged their commitment to work with Tyler, “until there is a change in the leadership of the House of Representatives for cause and in consonance with due process of law as provided in the Rules of the House and Constitution of Liberia.”
Additionally, the Senators declared that “the Senate needs to make serious and appropriate efforts to ensure that the concerns of the aggrieved members of the House of Representatives are accommodated for the unimpeded operations of the House.”
The 14 Senators, among them George Tengbeh (Lofa County), “noted with immense regrets, the ongoing political quagmire within the House which has adversely affected the working of our bicameral Legislature and, by extension, stalled the progress and development of the Liberian people whom we represent.”
The political wrangling in the House, according to a statement by the Senators, has essentially divided the membership of the Senate, which relates to efforts aimed at a change in leadership and a resistance thereto.
“Without passing judgment on the merits and demerits of the unfortunate situation in the House, we unequivocally call on all members of House to ensure that their actions and inactions are consistent with the dictates of both the Rules and the 1986 Constitution of our country,” the statement said.
To do otherwise, the Senators warned, will not only be a threat to the peace and security of the country, especially on the eve the impending presidential and legislative elections, but will also be a recipe for chaos and lawlessness in the political governance system of the country.
“We therefore call on the House to allow reason to prevail as a means of bringing the conduct to an amicable resolution where there will be no victor or vanquish.”
The Senators called on the aggrieved members of the House to honorably return to the Chambers and process their grievances in accordance with the Rules and Procedures of the House and the Constitution of Liberia.
Likewise, the lawmakers called on Speaker Tyler and the leadership of the House to create an enabling environment for the transparent hearing and judicious disposition of the concerns of the aggrieved members that constitute a significant percentage of their membership.
“Finally, let it be known that our clarity has become imperative as a consequence of doubts and ambiguities being created in the public domain as to the stance of members of the Senate on this matter; we the undersigned seated members of the Senate will continue to work in concert with our colleagues in the Senate, play a meaningful role, one grounded in the rule of law for the common good and remain sensitive to the concerns and grievances of the aggrieved,” the statement said.
The 14 senators with signatures include Sando Johnson, Alphonso Gaye, Francis Paye, Thomas Grupee, Daniel Naatehn, Jewel Howard Taylor, and Oscar Cooper.
Others are Matthew Jaye, Morris Saytumah, Varney Sherman, J. Gbleh-Bo Brown, Dan Morais, (unsigned); A. Marshall Dennis, (unsigned), and George T. Tengbeh.
Meanwhile, the Senate convened yesterday afternoon following almost an hour of leadership meeting, and immediately went into Executive Session. But they were tight-lipped on the outcome of their close door deliberations.
A press briefing that was announced by the Senate Secretariat failed to come on.
However, some staffers at the Senate Media Center told the Daily Observer that the statement issued by the 14 Senators does not have the consensus of the entire Senate, and that the Senate plenary will take a vote during their sitting on Thursday to determine that body’s next course of action.