A member of Speaker J. Alex Tyler’s majority bloc in the House of Representatives has accused him of attempting to bribe her to back-off from the just-ended August 25, 2015 election for the House’s representation at the ECOWAS parliament.
Montserrado County District #9 Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood alleged that Speaker Tyler offered her an unspecified amount of money in order to back-off in favor of Bomi County Representative Haja Siryon as the lone female candidate for the regional parliament slot allotted to the House of Representatives.
Speaking on the Truth Breakfast Show hosted by Truth FM 96.1 on Wednesday following the election, Mrs. Youngblood claimed she declared her intention for the slot, but Speaker Tyler and some influential members of the Tyler Bloc asked her to stay out of the race or risk not getting their support for said seat.
According to the Congress for Democratic Change lawmaker, Speaker Tyler of the ruling Unity Party, who also shares Bomi County with Representative Siryon, allegedly offered cash inducement for her not to contest, but she reportedly turned down such offer.
She described the action to elect someone who, she claimed, cannot debate issues openly, especially Legislative matters in such an honorable and regional parliament, as unfortunate and a disservice to the Liberian people.
She considered the action of the ‘so called majority bloc’ of Speaker Tyler as unacceptable and a wrong precedent for Legislative generations to come. On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, the Montserrado County District #9 Representative was convincingly whipped 48 to 11 votes by Bomi County District #3 Representative Haja F. Siryon in the election for Liberia’s representation to the ECOWAS Parliament.
Montserrado County District #6 Representative Edwin M. Snow and Sinoe County District #1 Representative Jefferson S. Karmoh won their respective seats on white ballots. There are three seats allotted to the Liberian House of Representatives – two males and a female, while the Liberian Senate has two.
When the Press and Public Affairs Director – Mr. Isaac Redd, was contacted via mobile phone, he informed this paper that he was very busy to comment, promising to return the call during his less busy time, but to no avail.
When Speaker Tyler was also contacted via mobile phone, his telephones were switched off or out of coverage area. The ECOWAS Parliament is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community. Its members represent all the peoples of West Africa.
The Parliament consists of 115 members, with each of the 15-member States allotted five seats at least. The remaining seats are shared in proportion to populations. As a result, Nigeria has 35 seats, Ghana 8, Côte d’Ivoire 7, while Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal have 6 each. Other countries – Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo are allotted 5 seats each. – Editing by George Barpeen