Pro-Temp Catches Speaker’s Cold

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It is now apparent that the coup d’état that started in the House of Representatives to remove Speaker Alex Tyler is now threatening the leadership of the Senate as over 14 Senators under the banner of “Aggrieved Senators” are lobbying to remove Senate President, Pro Tempore Armah Z.
Jallah over a ‘secret and un-procedural dealing with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, without the Senate Plenary’s approval.’

Sources said the decision by the aggrieved Senators to lobby for the Pro Temp’s removal also stemmed from his recognition of the “illegal anti-Tyler session” instead of the constitutionally elected Speaker Tyler’s session.

At a press conference yesterday, the intention of the aggrieved lawmakers to further disclose their grievances was postponed to today, Tuesday, August 30.

According to reliable sources, the aggrieved Senators are soliciting ‘more signatures’ to nullify the ‘Certificate of Extension’ extended to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that was “clandestinely conveyed to the Chief Executive without the Senate Plenary’s endorsement.”

The sources further said the aggrieved Senators may also suspend Pro Temp Jallah for violation of his “furtive dealing with the President, which upsets the independence of the Upper House.”

The sources indicated that the aggrieved Senators are expected to publicly veto the announcement by Pro Temp Jallah concerning the “neutrality of not working with either group of the House of Representatives.”

The sources further said that for the sake of the country, both Houses would decide whether an extension is necessary to enact the 2016/2017 National Budget.

Some of the aggrieved Senators include Oscar Cooper; Frederick Paye; Alphonso Gaye; Dan Morias; J. Gbleh-bo Brown; Jewel Howard Taylor; Sando Johnson; Morris Saytumah; A. Marshall Dennis; Daniel Naatehn; and Stephen Zargo.

It may be recalled that since last week, there has been a growing split in the Senate over the decision of whether or not to recognize Speaker J. Alex Tyler as the constitutional Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives.

In a press conference, the President Pro Tempore, in his Capitol Hill office, revealed that the Senate has resolved “not to do business with either Chamber” of the Lower House. However, Sen. Jallah indicated that despite this decision, mediation would be ongoing between both groups.

Before that decision, President Pro Tempore constituted a six-member committee to intervene and resolve the ongoing crisis in the House of Representatives.

The crisis centered on a resolution from a splinter group of the Lower House crafted Thursday, August 11, declaring that House Speaker Alex Tyler had “recused” himself from the position as presiding officer over Plenary.

The committee, constituted following an Executive Session, was headed by Senator Jallah. Other members include Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff (Montserrado); Senator Henry Yallah (Bong); Senator Peter Coleman (Grand Kru); Senator Joseph Nagbe (Sinoe); and Senator Stephen Zargo (Lofa).

In a statement read by Jallah, the committee would play a mediatory role by constructively engaging the parties involved in the crisis and proffering a resolution for a peaceful settlement.

Reports from the Capitol Building said pro-Tyler lawmakers might extend this term for two weeks for the passage of the budget.

Meanwhile, the Budget Hearing did not resume as announced by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue. Pro-Tyler lawmakers, comprising 19 members of the 22-member House Budget Committee, are expected to continue with the budget scrutiny on Wednesday.

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