In the wake of the fight for legality over the removal of Bomi County District # 2 Lawmaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. as Speaker of the House of Representatives by lawmakers in the Joint Chambers, the Chairman on Peace, Reconciliation and Religion is encouraging his colleagues to go in the
“House Chambers,” to remove the Speaker through votes.
The “Peace Chairman”, Nimba County District # 6 Representative, Atty. Ricks Y. Toweh – one of the signatories for the Speaker’s recusal – challenged his fellow so-called ‘renegade lawmakers’ to return to work in the official House Chambers to proffer their “Recusal Resolution” and then use their “Majority Votes” to remove the Speaker.
Rep. Toweh made the call in a press conference on Friday, August 12, in his Capitol Building office.
“As Chairman on the House’s Peace, Reconciliation and Religion and a legal practitioner, I want to use this time to tell my colleagues that since we have the majority members, we should go to our chambers in session, and through votes compel the Speaker to recuse himself,” Rep. Toweh said.
“I’m not the court to say what we did on Friday in the Joint Chambers was right, but I want to encourage my colleagues that, let’s go to work in the Joint Chambers and recuse the Speaker,” he said.
He added: “As a peacemaker I would not force them to go to chambers, but will continue to talk to them; and who knows, one day peace and reconciliation will prevail.”
Rep. Toweh did not tell journalists what he would do if the renegade lawmakers refused to go to work, but one of his close staff members said he has planned not to continue to go to either of the two sessions until there is one session in the chambers.
Many political and legal pundits are arguing that the drama of the recusal of the Speaker by the said “majority members of the House of Representatives” over the past week was illegal, stating that the Legislature’s rules and procedures indicated that the Chief Clerk (Secretary of the Senate), Sergeant-at-Arms and a Chaplain must be at every session.
It may be recalled that over the weekend 38 members of the House of Representatives (34 present and four distance), who are referred to as “Renegade or Conscious Lawmakers,” unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Rep. Alex J. Tyler, Sr. as Speaker or Presiding Officer of the Legislature.
The lawmakers, in an outlawed and separate session in the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers of the Capitol, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, made the decision owing to a resolution signed by 40 members of the House of Representatives.
The anti-Tyler lawmakers suspended the House’s Rules and Procedures on the Motion of Reconciliation as well as the Normal Legislative Procedural Process of Committee’s works, to affect the decision to recuse Speaker Tyler.
In the resolution, the lawmakers said the Speaker has denigrated his colleagues who have expressed disagreement with his dictatorial leadership and refers to elected Representatives of the Liberian people as surrogates, forgetting that he is just primus inter pares (first among equals) by the free election of peers.
Meanwhile, the 51st day sitting under Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. in the House’s official chambers ended successfully with the appearance of Public Work Minister Gyude Moore providing update on the Somalia Drive road project.
Speaker Tyler conducted that same day (Friday) with a quorum of 37 persons; 34 in person and four in distance.
Prior to the Public Minister’s appearance, the House’s Plenary summoned the management of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) to appear on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. The decision was predicated upon a complaint from Hon. Larry P. Younguoi of Electoral District # 8, Nimba County.
Meanwhile, a pro-Tyler lawmaker and Chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs, Maryland County District # 1 Representative James Biney, has accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of sponsoring the recusal campaign to unseat Speaker Tyler over “an unbearable working relationship with him.”