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Liberia young democracy is threading dangerous political waters

Written on:August 19, 2016
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Unity Party Secretary General and Information minister

Ruling Unity Party Sec. General & Liberia Information Minister, Nagbe

 

This letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed to the rebellious House faction clearly vindicates embattled House Speaker Alex Tyler’s assertion that President Sirleaf is the chief architect of the plot to remove Tyler from the Speaker position. Why would the President and her Information Minister refer to anti-Tyler faction as the “majority bloc” instead of the anti-Tyler faction baffles me? Then you have the Information Minister who refused to resign from his appointed job as stipulated by law and is now the elected Secretary General of the ruling Unity Party and then endorsed the anti-Tyler faction.

The Information Minister, not only violated President Sirleaf’s mandate for a hands-off or noninterference in the power struggle in the House of Representatives, but he also appeared before the anti-Tyler faction which he formally “recognized.” Could it be that the Information Minister got his cue from his boss President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as is now made apparent by this signed letter from the President to anti-Tyler faction while the matter is pending before the Supreme Court?

President Sirleaf has indeed added fuel to the fire that may be difficult to extinguish. Now, Tyler can say “I told you so” that President Sirleaf wants me removed as Speaker by using the Sable Mining bribery scandal as a pretext. Additionally, Tyler would justifiably ask why were others implicated in the bribery scandal not also indicted, including President Sirleaf’s son who heads the National Security Agency, NSA, Mr. Fombah Sirleaf?

Suspicion will also hang over what ever decision the Supreme Court renders because a similar ruling by the Supreme Court was not adhered to and that led to the resignation of former Speaker Edwin Snowe.

The Liberian young democracy is threading dangerous political waters when even a Supreme Court decision is ignored, not once, but twice under the presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The first time was when the Court ruled on where (venue) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf needed to deliver her first Annual Message before a similar divided House of Representatives. President Sirleaf ignored the Supreme Court ruling and delivered her Annual Message before a faction that didn’t recognize then Speaker Edwin Snowe. Is history about to repeat itself yet again?

And what is this thing with President Sirleaf always recalling important communications she has already signed? She just recalled the national budget she submitted to the Legislature, and now this controversial letter sent to the rebellious or anti-Tyler faction of the House of Representatives? What advice did she get each time from her lawyers on these constitutional crisis?

—-Jerry Wehtee Wion, contributing writer

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