Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue angrily adjourned the 5th Session of the House of Representatives yesterday, Tuesday, October 4, and announced that the session would resume the second working Monday of January 2017.
The Deputy Speaker’s decision was based on the fact that he was not aware of yesterday’s agenda. His position was supported by many of his colleagues, who argued that because the agenda was kept from him, those behind the act meant to manipulate the majority of the lawmakers to ensure that the House remains divided.
The House Rules and Procedures #7.2 provides that the Presiding Officer has the authority to call the House of Representatives to order at the commencement of each day’s session and shall proceed to business in manner prescribed in the rules.
A lawmaker who spoke to the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity said the secrecy of Tuesday’s agenda confirmed rumors in the corridors of the House that there is a plan to remove the Deputy Speaker and have an abrupt election immediately after the election of a new Speaker.
“It is seen as a betrayal and stabbing the Deputy Speaker in the back; and considering the event, it prompted the Deputy Speaker to adjourn the session until 2017,” the lawmaker added.
In annoyance yesterday, the Deputy Speaker and 12 other lawmakers walked out of the Chambers, after the unusual adjournment.
It was also learned from lawmakers who support Deputy Speaker Barchue that Tuesday’s agenda was dated September 30, instead of October 4, and many described it “as alarming” and “smells of deceitfulness.”
However, 32 lawmakers, contrary to the Deputy Speaker’s decision for adjournment, remained at the session.
Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous M. Gray recommended through a motion that the Deputy Speaker should be suspended.
Rep. Gray and other lawmakers argued that the “Deputy Speaker erroneously adjourned the 5th Session.”
To ensure due process to proceed with Rep. Gray’s recommendation, a five-man Special Committee, chaired by Bong County lawmaker George Mulbah, was established. Other members are Reps. Mariamu Fofana, Garrison Yealue, Bill Tweahway and Edward Karfiah.
The Committee is expected to report today.
However, members of a parallel session have further agreed to have election by 4pm today (Wednesday) if the Supreme Court lifts the Writ of Prohibition.
The Deputy Speaker in a press conference yesterday blamed Montserado County District #6 Representative Edwin M. Snowe, describing him “as an evil plotter.” Though he did not go into details it was rumored that Margibi County District # 5 Rep. Emmanuel Nuquay and Rep.
Snowe and the Deputy Speaker were responsible for the removal of Speaker Tyler and the rearrangement of leadership committees to gain more authority.
It was also learned that Rep. Snowe and the other members of the anti-Tyler lawmakers have re-formed to unseat Deputy Speaker Barchue.
Supreme Court’s Conferences
Regarding the blockage of the Speaker’s election yesterday, the conferences are expected to be held today.
The stay order was placed as a result of a petition filed by Representative Adolph Lawrence and the ousted Speaker, Alex Tyler. The Supreme Court has scheduled two separate conferences over the matter today, Wednesday, with two hours between them.