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Editorial

Continuing Capitol Row:Putting the ‘Claims and Counter-Claims’ of Majority to test

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The political row with Liberia’s House of Representatives may still be far from over despite various interventions, including the latest by the National Traditional Council of Liberia.

Both sides of the political row continue to claim the majority, While Speaker J. Alex Tyler still maintains his legitimacy as head and the group calling itself the anti-Tyler Bloc led by Representative Edwin Snowe continues to claim that he’s not though the rules and procedures to have him (Tyler) step aside are yet to be honored by the latter.

Moreover, while the official Chamber of the House – where officials decisions are made, is presently being utilized by Members of the House supportive of Speaker Tyler or ‘Pro-Tyler Bloc’, the renegade group or ‘anti-Tyler Bloc’ continues to occupy the Joint Chambers of the Legislature – an action Legislative experts are terming illegal.

This continuing row, which many Liberians and observers are referring to as political ‘gangsterism’ by people who should be of the highest integrity, is taking place amid claims and counter-claims of either bribery or financial sponsorship reportedly from the Executive.

Whatever the case may be, the issue of the leadership (Speaker) of the House of Representatives is solely the prerogative of its members; but such action to elect, suspend or remove the Speaker must be in consonance with the rules and procedures of that august body and not political sentiments as occasioned by the current trends of events on Capitol Hill.

Now, the simple issue to address the situation is “who actually has the majority”, since it is on the basis such ‘majority’ decisions in the House of Representatives are made? Can such ‘majority’ claimed by both sides be tried devoid of the so-called resolutions against and in support of Speaker Tyler produced by them? Of course, yes – the motion can be tried to test the claims and counter-claims.

While there is no argument and there shouldn’t be one that the election, suspension and removal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is directly the responsibility of Members of the House, its rules and procedures must be adhered to.

In so doing, Members of the House not supportive of the current Speaker must now be urged/advised to proceed to the main William R. Tolbert Chamber – their official decision-making venue in the Capitol Building to put their claim of ‘majority’ to test alongside those in support of him and not to keep making use of the media to attract public sentiments which may not even be helping them, owing to what’s unfolding now from within their bloc.

With the highest degree of surety, sincerity and commitment in line with their claims of ‘majority’, whatever they’re desirous of is achievable; and there can be no resistance from Speaker Tyler or his supporters regarding the outcome. Any attempt against such outcome would mean Tyler and his supporters would them have the Liberian people to contend with.

But to continue to go about the path on which they current thrive may just be a political mischief and an attempt to perpetrate their personal agenda against the interest of the people of Liberia who they claim to be representing in the House of Representatives.

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