Montserrado County Electoral District #6 Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe has descended on House Speaker Alex Tyler, calling on the Speaker to immediately recuse himself as head of the first branch of government in the wake of his indictment or risks the wrath of the Legislature.
Speaking to reporters in the corridors of the Capitol Building following session Tuesday, Representative Snowe said it sends a bad and worrisome signal for a senior government official like Speaker Tyler, who has been linked to bribery, to preside over the House of Representatives.
Snowe, who was dethroned as Speaker by his colleagues in a process that saw the election of Tyler, said it is unfortunate and embarrassing for the entire country and its people for Speaker Tyler to refuse to step aside, noting that it is a honorable thing conventionally for leaders to set precedence for future happenings, but his refusal to do so is something that should not be compromised at the detriment of the House.
Speaker Tyler and the ruling Unity Party Chairman Senator Varney G. Sherman along with others were indicted recently following a Global Witness report, linking to receiving bribes from Sabel Mining of Britain to compromise Liberia’s concession laws.
Snowe pointed out that he and Speaker Tyler are best friends, but the honorable thing should be done in a way that moral will take precedence. Bong County Representative George Mulbah made a motion that plenary of the House of Representatives should conduct normal business despite not reaching quorum. Rep. Mulbah further suggested for the suspension of roll call in plenary for one month to avoid lack of quorum, but Snowe objected to the motion on grounds that it is unconstitutional and violates the standing rules of the House.
He also argued the decision is in total violation of Article 33 of the Constitution of Liberia, which states: “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. Whenever the House of Representatives and the Senate shall meet in joint session, the presiding officer of the House of Representatives shall preside.”
He promised to write plenary tomorrow, Thursday, about the violation, and if plenary fails to take action, to take the matter before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
By Nathanial Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne