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Editorial

Speakership: No Moral Ground, too, to Ask Tyler to Step Aside

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Amid the ongoing bribery investigation on the basis of a report produced by Global Witness, Public sentiments seem to be disfavoring those allegedly linked to the bribery.

At the core of the investigation are two public officials of performance – House Speaker J. Alex Tyler and Grand Cape Mount Senator H. Varney G. Sherman. Of the two, Speaker Tyler appears to be at the center of a debate – in public and the House of Representatives, with public sentiments heavily influencing members of the House to have him (Tyler) recuse himself from presiding over all activities of that august body until he’s exonerated from the ongoing court trial.

Currently in the House of Representatives, Speaker Tyler is under intense pressure by some members to stay away as head even though he would remain Representative of Bomi County. Montserrado County Representative Edwin Snowe is leading the campaign to put Speaker Tyler under pressure to recuse himself from presiding over sessions and other activities as Speaker not on legal, but moral grounds.

While Liberians have always embraced and supported the fight against corruption in Liberia, especially since President Sirleaf’s “zero tolerance on corruption” as announced in her 2006 Inaugural Address, they are also hopeful that the ongoing investigation and court action against Cllr. Sherman and Speaker Tyler will neither “begin nor end” with the two.

It is an agreeable fact that there is no legality in any manner or form for the Speaker to step aside, even though it may be expedient for him to do so on the basis of morality, as a way of protecting the image of the House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to accept that all of those calling for Speaker Tyler to step aside as presiding on moral grounds to save the House’s image are “morally credible” to even publicly ask Tyler to

recuse himself.

The image of the House of Representatives had long since been desecrated – even under the leadership of representative Snowe, before the current situation allegedly involving Speaker Tyler. If and only if Snowe and others had good intentions, they would have avoided going public first and constructively engaged the Speaker in pursuance of their quest to save the image of the House.

Snowe and other Members of the House demanding that Tyler recuses himself from presiding must reconsider their ambition and allow the general public the opportunity to engage Tyler on the need to step aside on moral ground.

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