Deputy House Speaker Hans Barchue has warned his ‘rebellious colleagues’ of the serious consequences in any attempt to disrupt regular session for the third consecutive time.
Nearly 10 representatives are agitated over House Speaker Alex Tyler’s alleged involvement in a US$10,000 corruption case that is currently before the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).
The aggrieved lawmakers are demanding that Speaker Tyler recues himself as presiding officer while the Anti-Corruption Commission continues its investigation.
The stand taken by the ‘renegade lawmakers’ has brought serious tension to the Lower House’s chamber, leading to the disruption of normal legislative activities twice.
Deputy Speaker Barchue has warned that the leadership in consultation with plenary, will not hesitate to institute harsh measures against ‘the trouble makers’.
The Grand Bassa County Representative signaled that the leadership of the House will do everything in their power to maintain the integrity and sanity of the House’s chamber, and as such, those wanting to turn the sacred chamber into a market hall will bear the “full responsibility of their respective actions.”
From all indications, the aggrieved lawmakers’ interest is not about the corruption allegation before LACC, but rather their self-interest, Rep. Barchue charged.
He said the warning has been given and the House’s action will be immediate against anyone who dare violates it.
The Deputy Speaker called on his colleagues to be civil in raising their concern, but urged them to keep in mind the work the Liberian people elected them to do at the Capitol Building.
“There are proper ways to address your grievances in such a situation and we expect our colleagues to use such approach,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the ‘rebel lawmakers’ have resolved to continue with their action until their matter can be addressed.
The ringleaders, Representatives Edwin M. Snowe, Emmanuel Nuquay, Henry B. Fahnbulleh and Bill Twehway claim that they are keen on instituting measures aimed at protecting the integrity of the House.
According to reports, the grieved representatives are said to be developing a strategy aimed at preventing the conduct of business until their concern is addressed.
Sources close to Capitol Hill hinted that the irritated lawmakers are insisting that Speaker Tyler must not preside over session during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Annual Message due on the fourth working Monday in January, in fulfillment of Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution.
The constitutional provision states that “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”