Ahead of the Supreme Court conference with members of House of Representatives to resolve the ongoing legislative ruckus, which has stalled legislative works on Capitol Hill, a member of the majority bloc said embattled Speaker Alex Tyler has no way out.
“Running to court will not salvage you, we have the number, you have lost our confidence and legitimacy to preside over this sacred Chamber,” Rep. Saywah Worlea Dunah said.
He asserted that the Supreme Court will not question Article 33 of the Constitution of Liberia, which calls for simple majority to have a quorum for legislative business, boasting that they have such threshold as indicated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s letter of endorsement.
The Supreme Court will today, Monday preside over a hearing in the ongoing brawl at the House of Representatives. The scheduled hearing is triggered by a complaint filed by embattled Speaker Tyler, who recently prayed the Supreme Court’s intervention due to what he terms s nonstop calls by gigantic number of his colleagues for his recusal as Speaker of the House of Representatives to face multiple charges brought against him by the State.
The majority bloc has consistently divulged that Tyler has being stubborn and dogged recusal despite ceaseless appeals from his colleagues, religious leaders and scores of civic society actors.
Speaker had argued that under Liberia system of jurisprudence, the accused is presumed innocent until found culpable before the court.
But his colleagues have had contrary views on grounds that he should recue himself for the sake of morality to salvage the integrity of the legislature while going through his criminal indictment.
Forty (40) members out of the 73 Representatives have resolved and resigned a resolution expressing loss of confidence in his Speakership, bordered on alleged criminality. Speaking over the weekend to legislative reporters, Representative Dunah said, Tyler plan will not work for him because the court will not question the work of the Article 33 quorum (Plenary) which says; “A simple majority of each House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a lower number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members.”
However, the National Traditional Council of Liberia tried to intervene between the two parties but the dialogue ended in deadlock as the Anti-Tyler camp demanded the presence of President Sirleaf on grounds that the Pro-Tyler group accused them of receiving bribes from the President.
They said it would make lot of sense that the President be present so that Tyler could identify those lawmakers who allegedly received money to have him removed from office. “As I listen to his own interviews and pronouncement of his camp, his core argument and prayer is for the Supreme Court to compel the Majority Member – by the Constitution and the Plenary – to sit under his gavel when key decisions have been taken and communicated. He is praying the Justice in Chambers to issue a Writ of Prohibition to stay the working of the Plenary and in essence, he is asking the Supreme Court to make a historical intrusion into the legislative powers and assault the sacred Doctrine of Separation of Powers”, Representative Dunah notes.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne