Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex J. Tyler
Speaker Tyler Denies Report of Manipulating Outcome of Bomi Election
By Robert Dixon/LINA
MONROVIA, December 26 (LINA)-The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex J. Tyler, has denied news reports that he manipulated election workers to influence the outcome of the December 20 special senatorial election in Bomi County.
With 92 percent of precincts reporting, Morris Saytumah of the ruling Unity Party is said to be leading incumbent Senator Lahai Lansanah of the National Patriotic Party.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Speaker Tyler made the statement Friday in a Voice of America Africa Service interview.
Police reportedly arrested Senator Lansanah and his wife following clashes between his supporters and those of Unity Party candidate Morris Saytuma.
A supporter of Lansanah reportedly told the media that the senator’s arrest was engineered by Speaker Tyler in an attempt to manipulate the outcome, but Tyler described the allegation as 'farfetched' and 'untrue'.
Tyler said he does not have the authority as Speaker of the House of Representatives to order the arrest of any citizen as alleged by supporters of Senator Lansanah.
“I’m not head of the Executive Branch of government. I head the Legislative branch that does not have police power. And since I left Tubmanberg on Saturday evening, I haven’t been back there. So, how could I order the arrest of somebody when I wasn’t even there?” Tyler said.
“Election is one of the elements of democracy. People need to accept results when they do not win and stop pointing fingers. When people do not win an election they find scapegoats. And that’s what happened. They tried to use me as a scapegoat in this matter. Even the Senate Pro Temp did not win, but he accepted the results and graciously walked away,” Tyler said.