— But Sen. Johnson said Tyler’s will be violating the coalition’s law
Former Speaker J. Alex Tyler, of the 53rd House of Representatives, has confirmed report that he will be challenging incumbent Senator of Bomi County, Sando Dazoe Johnson, in the 2020 senatorial elections.
With that confirmation, Johnson said Tyler’s desire to contend for the seat will be in violation of an agreement by members of the Coalition concerning claims to territory by institutional members of the Coalition in a given election. Sen. Sando Johnson, being a member of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) believes he is covered by the rule by virtue of the fact that both he and Tyler (Liberia People Democracy Party -LPDP) are members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change comprises the Congress for Democratic Change, the NPP and the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP).
Fifteen sitting senators, who were elected during the 2011 elections are seeking reelection in the midterm senatorial elections, scheduled in October, 2020.
Tyler, a former Bomi County District #2 Representative, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on Friday, April 26, 2019, after the wake-keeping of the late Representative Adolph A. Lawrence, that he is certain of contesting the senatorial race in 2020.
“Let me say I will be contesting the 2020 senatorial elections in Bomi County,… I will be challenging Senator Sando Johnson at the poll,” Tyler said, settling the speculations.
He is the political leader of the LPDP, and also member of the governing council of the ruling CDC.
Mr. Tyler added, “I am aware of Johnson being the sitting senator but, again, be aware that I have not lost election in my entire political life, and will not do so anytime. I contested the 2005 election, and was reelected 2011, and then the speakership two times. I’ve never lost in any election and will not do so in 2020.”
Between 2005 and 2012, Tyler participated in four elections, including the representative seat in 2005; reelected in 2011, and then elected to the speakership in 2007; and reelected in 2012.
He served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives from April 7, 2007 to September 27, 2016. He is the second longest serving speaker next to the late House Speaker Richard Henries of the First Republic.
It may be recalled that 49 lawmakers, comprising two-thirds of the House of Representatives, affixed their signatures on a ‘resolution’ that unanimously removed Tyler as the speaker. The decision came in the aftermath of the row over the criminal indictment against him arising from the controversial Global Witness Report that cited bribery aimed at illegally tweaking Liberia’s public procurement law, an act which the former Speaker was denied.
Meanwhile, reacting to Mr. Tyler’s confirmation, Sen. Johnson told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that if the two go to the polls, Tyler will be violating the coalition’s agreement, which was notarized.
“No partisan of the Coalition has the right to contest in a district or county, which has been declared by another party of the coalition as their district or coalition with a sitting representative or senator,” Sen. Johnson said.
“Tyler of the LPDP cannot venture or contest in Bomi County of which a sitting Senator is an executive member of the NPP and part of the coalition,” Sen. Johnson said. “I am the national vice chairman for administration of the NPP, and so another Coalition partisan cannot challenge me in primary on the Coalition-NPP ticket.”