There is a growing division in the Senate over the continuous recognition of Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. as the constitutional Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, apparently exacerbated by yesterday’s announcement by President Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah, to halt ‘doing business’ amid the ongoing mediation between pro and anti-Tyler lawmakers headed for separation.
At a press conference yesterday with Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh County Senators on both sides – Sen. Albert Chie and Steve Zargo respectively – the President Pro Tempore, from his Capitol Hill office, revealed that the Senate has resolved “not to do business with either Chamber” of the House of Representatives.
Sen. Jallah indicated that despite the decision, mediation would still be ongoing between both groups. It may be recalled that a week ago, the Senate through the President Pro Tempore constituted a six-member committee to intervene to help resolve the ongoing crisis among members of the House of Representatives.
The crisis is centered on the resolution of a splinter group of the Lower House, crafted August 11, asking House Speaker Alex Tyler Sr. to “recuse” himself from his position as Presiding Officer over Plenary.
The Senate committee, headed by Pro-Tempore Jallah, was constituted following an Executive Session. Other members include Senators Geraldine Doe-Sheriff (Montserrado), Henry Yallah (Bong), Peter Coleman (Grand Kru), Joseph Nagbe (Sinoe), and Stephen Zargo (Lofa).
In a statement read by Sen. Jallah, the committee is mandated to play a mediatory role by constructively engaging the parties involved in the crisis and proffering a resolution for peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Senators for Tyler
Meanwhile, after the Pro Temp’s press conference, three Senators from Margibi, River Cess and Grand Gedeh Counties held an undisclosed meeting with Speaker Tyler, and vowed to uphold the rule of law. The three, according to eyewitnesses, are Senators Oscar Cooper, Frederick Paye and Alphonso Gaye, who said they would ensure that the Senate recognizes Speaker Tyler until he is duly removed.
Eyewitnesses further said Senators Dan Morais (Maryland), Jewel Howard Taylor (Bong), and Bomi Senators Sando Johnson and Morris Saytumah are among Senators ensuring the recognition of Speaker Tyler.
However, the Senate mediation committee led by the Pro Tempore insists that the Senate must stop doing business with either side.