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Liberia news

Ellen tight-lipped Tyler

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has declined to comment on the removal of House Speaker Alex Tyler by a two-thirds majority at the House Representatives, saying she does not have details on his removal.

Tylers office

Mrs. Sirleaf who made the comment upon arrival from the United States where she attended the just end UN 71st General Assembly told reporters she will only comment after being informed but could not because she lacks the details.

Former Speaker Tyler is the second sitting Speaker of the House to have fallen from grace at the hands of fellow representatives in the House, after the man whom he succeeded – Montserrado County Rep. Edwin Melvin Snowe, who also initiated the anti – Tyler campaign, was also dethroned in President Sirleaf’s first term.

Tyler’s trouble began here after his indictment by the prosecution over claims by U.K. – based watchdog group, Global Witness, over alleged bribes offered by Sable Mining to change Liberian mining laws in its favor.

President Sirleaf, told reporters that she had just received the information of the Speaker’s removal, but did not know when it happened. While battling against a criminal indictment at the Criminal Court “C”, Mr. Tyler was made to later recuse himself as presiding officer after his efforts failed to break a so-called majority block led by his Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue and nurtured by long – time dethroned speaker, now Rep. Snowe.

The Bomi County Representative was holding onto his Speaker post while on sick leave abroad following his recusal that followed internal political crisis at the Capitol, coupled with series of Supreme Court hearings.

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In the heat of the political crisis at the Capitol surrounding Tyler’s refusal to step aside while facing criminal charges, a series of papers were filed before the Supreme Court both by the anti- Tyler and pro- Tyler blocks, as the crisis stalled normal legislative functions.

The Supreme Court’s hearing of matters brought before it did not bring an end to the political turmoil among the representatives until 49 of the 73 lawmakers at the Lower House, including some of the so-called loyalists of Mr. Tyler signed a resolution on 27 September to remove him as Speaker of the House.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen

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