From where I sit, am thoughtful as why and whether the indicted and embattled Speaker of the Honorable House of Representatives J. Alex Tyler is sensitive of what could be the aftermath of the ongoing political fight involving him and majority members of the House of Representatives now being presided over by his principal Deputy Honorable Hans Barchue, one who has been very closed to his reign, and seem to have over the period won respect from his colleagues because of his ‘diplomatic mien’.
The fact that many key members of the House who have earlier been in the indicted Speaker’s kitchen cabinet are far away now from him makes his chances of maintaining his grip in the Capitol Building very narrow.
Just to name a few of Tyler’s former buddies, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, Former Speaker Edwin M. Snowe, Former Chairman on the Oil/Gas Committee Adolf Lawrence, current Chairman on Rules, Order and Administration-Jeh Byron Brown and former Chairman on Ways, Means and Finance, J. Emmanuel Nuquay are among those who had long been protecting the Speaker, but are today on the other side of the coin.
As an insider of Liberian legislative politics, frankly the struggle for Tyler to preserve his post in this kind of divided Chamber of 73-members is clearly a hard thing, given that Barchue and majority members seem unbending in their quest to have the indicted Speaker recused since he has willfully refused to do so.
Considering the tactics implored by the majority bloc of representatives as recently announced by Honorable Acarous M. Gray on Sky-FM 50-50 Talk Show that they will be communicating with various foreign missions including the UN and the US, the battle could just force a resignation from Speaker Tyler.
Honorable James Binney of Maryland County who often boasts of being an expert on legislative politics has been insinuating that the current Deputy Speaker is not suitable to step-in the embattled Speaker’s post when he’s finally ousted on grounds that Hans Barchue is part of the majority bloc. With all of his brags, is he ignorant of the Liberian Constitution and the Rules that govern the House which clearly states that in the absence of the Speaker the Deputy Speaker shall preside?
For further clarity on this constitutional clause, the current Deputy Speaker has a proven record of effectively and efficiently co-presiding and presiding over the House’s session since the swearing-in of the 53rd House of Representatives.
Then why is Binney now questioning the Deputy Speaker’s legal power as enshrined in the organic law of our country?
IS TYLER LISTENING?
It is clear that the embattled Speaker of the 53rd Legislature is not yielding to numerous calls, appeals and pieces of advice coming from even some of his close allies both in government and other sectors of the country for him to quietly recuse himself.
Speaker Tyler had earlier been advised to sanction a major retreat of all members of the disputed House of Representatives to bring back the morale and dignity of that honorable body for the sole purpose of nurturing the country’s growing democracy.
However, the holding of such retreat had since fallen on deaf ears as if it does not make sense at all. We are also aware of the Speaker’s divide and rule method, as he often refers to his likes among the lawmakers as ‘Tyler’s Bloc’.
They are the ones being used by the embattled Head of the Legislature against calls by majority lawmakers for the accused to recuse himself or be made to do so.
If the Speaker had willingly recused himself from presiding over the Liberian people’s sacred Chamber of the House of Representatives since the alleged Global Witness Bribery Report came out, in my mind, the ongoing power wrangle at the Capitol would have been averted ever since.
But Tyler’s pluck to put out an open challenge to his fellow majority lawmakers is now leading his Speakership to a bigger public disrepute, which is a complete replicate of Former Speaker Edwin M. Snowe’s removal saga.
Like Alex Tyler, like most African Dictators, when the people’s power runs into their heads, they no longer care about whatever voice coming from the wilderness.
When these kinds of rulers are finally cast out of power, they start to mumble and regret why they slipped-up. The embattled Speaker is missing steps only because his mind and ears are entirely out of touch.
At his recent news conference to challenge the alleged Global Witness Corruption Report, Tyler branded as ‘surrogates and bribe takers’ those who have been advising him to recuse himself from presiding until he clears his name in the court.
Such a disparaging description of majority members of the House of Representatives by the Speaker has created more furies among the majority bloc.
As a political leader whether in the Legislature or not, you create an uneasy scene for your leadership when you start to public bundle some of your allies or lieutenants as surrogates. It is not only belittling, but it makes you stand alone. And at the end, you can only nod your head and surrender to the majority demands.
‘A hint to the wise is quite sufficient’, so let embattled Speaker J. Alex Tyler listen!