Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue
House Majority Says Tyler’s Sessions ‘Unconstitutional’
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, August 31 (LINA) - Majority members of the House of Representatives have termed sessions presided over by House Speaker Alex Tyler “unconstitutional,” arguing that they constantly fall short of the required quorum of 36 members.
The majority bloc presided over by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue said on Tuesday that since he was declared recused by over 39 members of the House of Representatives, Tyler continues to “impersonate” by holding sessions in the House chambers without a quorum, violating the Constitution and the House’s Rules.
Rule 12 of the House Standing Rules obligates members of the House of Representatives to begin regular session with a simple majority of 36 plus 1 of members of the House of Representatives.
It says that a quorum shall consist of a simple majority for the transaction of business, meetings and, if not, only a motion to compel the attendance of absent members or to adjourn, may be made.
This portion of the House Rules is also backed by Article 33 of the Constitution of Liberia, something which, according to Montserrado County Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood, speaks to dishonesty and that Tyler persistent violation must be probed by the body.
Youngblood said that by convening a session without a quorum Tyler has also violated Rules 40.1 and 40.2 of the House which state that every member shall be honest and transparent at any time and that no member may introduce false information or unsubstantiated matter, pretending that it is true.
Meanwhile, the body has mandated its committee on Rules and Order to probe the matter and advise it by Thursday.
In the midst of the issue of a quorum at the House of Representatives, it was observed by the Liberia News Agency on Tuesday that a total of 38 representatives were present in the session held in the Joint Chambers of the Capitol.
Apart from the 38, five excuses were granted by the body, summing up to 43 the total number of representatives accounted for by majority bloc of the House.