Nimba County Representative Ricks Toweh has expressed disappointment over his defeat at the hands of Bomi County Representative J. Alex Tyler in the race for the post of Speaker of the 53rd Legislature. The Bomi County lawmaker was re-elected for another six years after overwhelmingly defeating Rep. Toweh during Monday’s polls at the Joint Chambers of the Legislature.
Speaker Tyler won with 46 votes, while his rival (Rep. Toweh) got 24 votes.
Rep. Toweh of Nimba County told a live ELBC Radio Broadcast shortly after his defeat that he felt betrayal by his colleagues.
However, he credited the polls for being transparent and promised to work with Speaker Tyler.
Prior to voting, opinion polls conducted by some local radio stations put Rep. Toweh ahead of his rival Rep. Tyler. The findings of the polls attributed Rep. Toweh’s edge to ‘regional balance’.
Several incoming and incumbent lawmakers were said to have thrown their weight behind Rep. Toweh on grounds that the Nimba County lawmaker was the preferred contender, considering his advocacy for ‘balance of power’.
However, the result from the election proves contrary.
Speaker Tyler, on the other hand, thanked his colleagues for his re-election and promised to work with his colleagues to move the Legislature forward.
At the same time, Grand Bassa County District #1 Representative-elect, Hans M. Barchue, was elected as Deputy Speaker.
Lawmaker Barchue, who was elected during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections on an independent ticket, got 41 votes, while his closest rival, Lofa County Rep. Eugene Fallah Kparkar received 17 votes.
Maryland County Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, who came next to Rep. Fallah Kparkar, got 12 votes.
Before the election, the former Deputy Speaker, Bong County Representative, Tokpa Mulbah, who had earlier expressed his desire to contest the race, back off from the process.
Meanwhile, an array of government officials, including Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Harrison Karnwea, witnessed the polls.