By Morrison O.G. Sayon
House Speaker Jenekai Alex Tyler has frowned on individuals, political parties and civil groups in the country who he said are clamoring for the resignation of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information yesterday in Monrovia, Speaker Tyler said while it is normal and helpful to criticize the activities of government in a healthy democracy, it is equally prudent to offer recommendations that will enhance the democratic process and encourage its tenets.
Quoting Thomas Jefferson in the drafting of the American Declaration of Independence, Tyler said, “The drafting of the American declaration of independence informed us that: ‘prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes’ so let it be with our government.”
He said undemocratic tendencies usually exert a retrogressive effect on the process of democratization calling on opposition political parties to continuously engage and dialogue with government, in order to put their country on the right path.
He further said, “But the practice of ‘politricks’, negative and destructive criticisms coming from any quarter can only lead our nation backwards.”
Speaker Tyler stressed that call by some group of Liberians for the resignation of President Sirleaf is unconstitutional, and not in the interest of the country’s democratic tendency. “Resignation of the President is not the best solution to our many problems; we must remain engaged with the government by putting forward suggestions and recommendations,” Speaker Tyler pointed out.
He called on Liberians especially those making the resignation demand to take a reflective look at the past where the nation came from few years back before making such demand. “Liberia is getting better; the fact that people can ask the President to resign and sleep sound at night without being harassed is a clear indication that things are indeed getting better,” Tyler indicated.
“Jobs will follow; lots have been done in the fight against corruption even at the level of the national legislature,” the House Speaker said.
Commenting on the achievements, challenges and the passage of several bills including the decent work bill, the decent work bill, the code of conduct bill, the level playing field bill and the petroleum oil and gas reform sector bill were passed by the House of Representatives on august 30, 2013, after lengthy deliberations, and sent to the Liberian Senate for concurrence leaving the responsibility of setting a minimum wage to the minimum wage bill as embedded in the bill.
“The Senate had some reservations that necessitated a conference committee of both houses (of the 53rd Legislature). The committee’s final draft was concluded and inclusive therein was a proposed amount of six dollars per day or seventy five cents per hour which was passed by the Senate but could not be passed by the House of Representatives because the Plenary observed that there was no empirical data to support the amount of six dollars or seventy five cents as proposed by the Conference Committee and the issue of decent work was not adequately addressed.
He said the House then counter-proposed the amount of seventy dollars and twenty cents or ninety cents per hour which has again necessitated the setting up of a Conference Committee when they return in January,” he stated.
On the Code of Conduct Bill, Speaker Tyler disclosed that the bill after several setbacks and major cleaning up was passed by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives for its concurrence. Tyler said the House immediately observed that the proposed two years as submitted by the crafters of the bill for public officials who desire to run for elected offices was adjusted to the period of one year. He said due to time factor, the bill could not be passed because the House was unable to confer with the Liberian Senate as to the adjustment from two years to one year and the wisdom behind it.