Ahead of the 2017 presidential and representative elections, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, who resigned from President Sirleaf’s ruling Unity Party last year, has formally declared his membership with the newly formed Liberian People Democratic Party or LDPD, which was also certificated last year by the National Elections Commission.
Speaker Tyler and President Sirleaf hail from the same county, Bomi. And he rode on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party to get elected to the House of Representatives as well as Speaker of the House, but jumped the boat last year, citing lack of consensus in the hierarchy of the UP.
It has been widely speculated here that Speaker Tyler is the master-mind or architect behind the formation of the LDPD. Making the formal declaration Wednesday, 16 March at the party´s headquarters along the Airfield Shortcut route in Monrovia, Speaker Tyler said, “I have seen a party that is not power conscious, but service conscious. I have seen a party that wants to make a difference in Liberia since 1847. I have seen partisans with the spirit of collectivity, tenacity of purpose; discipline; vision for a new Liberia and dream to make Liberia great.”
According to him, the LDPD seeks to give power to the people through a pragmatic, uncomplicated and workable decentralization system rather than taking it away from the people. He said the party is committed to a decentralized educational, economic and developmental policy, and wishes to give a new meaning and spirit to the much publicized Liberianization Policy, which in reality, exist only as a policy here.
Speaker Tyler, who is enjoying his second term as Representative of Bomi County, stressed that the LDPD is a party that believes in the policy of local content for Liberians. Sounding as though his former party or the ruling UP has done the worse, his followers at the Liberian Legislature injected that he has seen a party that believes in a revised land and property rights that bring benefits to owners and not only government and foreign investors.
“I have seen a party that understands the functioning of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches and have no need to learn in office. I have seen a party with the ability to restore the hope of Liberians and a birth of prosperity. And above all, I have seen a party that fears God and believes in God to chart its course; a party that believes in minority and majority rights. That Party Ladies and Gentlemen, is the Liberia People Democratic Party, LPDP” he bragged.
Discussing further about his dream of the kind of Liberia he envisages, Speaker Tyler explains that the continuous dominance of the economy by foreign partners has been a great concern to every Liberian, including him.
He noted that his passion for Liberia is that a period would emerge when Liberians would take siege of the industrial, manufacturing, trading and commercial sectors of the economy, noting these can only be realized when governments in waiting make these their national priorities when given state power.
Apparently thinking that many bystanders and the public may ask him about the statement, the Bomi County lawmaker said as Speaker, you may say it is his responsibility to supervise the passage of laws; supervise oversight functions of the House and guide representations; therefore, why speak on these when he´s third in the power structure of the state?
He responded by saying it is important to note that legislators are co-equals with each having the constitutional mandate to represent his/her constituency. “Each one is elected on a party platform with different philosophies and persuasions including the ruling party. The role of the Speaker is not to dictate policies or positions; nor to cast a vote unless there is a tie. The Speaker is an administrator and does not dictate to committees”, Tyler clarified.
But he maintains that there is independency of members of the Legislature and the august body does not devise annual legislative agenda. Tyler explains that the Liberian Legislature reviews and passes on the basis of majority votes.
Wanting to shift blames on the dismal state of the economy and the political turmoil being experience by the Liberian public, the Speaker said the vision bearer of the state is the head of the Executive Branch (President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) who submits her vision for the nation, arguing “This is why we need a party with vision, passion, love and commitment to the development of Liberia.” And it goes without saying that perhaps, the LDPD could just be just that party, but 2017 would test its strength at the ballot box.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne