Opposition Leader Says UDP Stole the 2012 Elections

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Updated: December 12, 2016

Last Friday during the Sitting of the House of Representatives, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno made a presentation on what he has deemed as corruption in the Immigration Department.  Despite several interruptions and objections from the Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte, Briceno went on to speak of the information given to him anonymously surrounding the amount of nationalities granted just before the 2012 elections.

JOHN BRICENO

“I was given 64 pages of names of people who got their nationality between October 2011 to February 2012, over 2,000 nationalities were issued just before the election. Here we have the names and I can give you a copy so you all can see. Over 2,000 just before the elections. Over 2000. When we did an analysis 822 Guatemalans got their nationalities. 366 from El Salvador, 330 from Honduras, 62 Chinese and then we have from all over the place, Bangladesh, Spain, Ukraine, Ghana, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, Romania all over the place these people got their nationalities. There was no proper vetting and no proper process was followed, the same thing that Ms.Karla Faber mentioned when she was questioned. If you can remember just before the elections in 2012 the media was out here late at night, the gentlemen up there were there when Ministers were carrying box loads of applications, they were taking box loads of applications so they could process these applications. Could you allow me Mr.Speaker you are not being fair.”

HOUSE SPEAKER

“But leader of the opposition you know we talked about the same thing about the standing orders, you are looking to not only impute improper motives towards ministers you are looking to talk about their conduct. If you have specific evidence against a specific minister concerning irregularities or illegalities then make a motion to talk about that.”

JOHN BRICENO

“I am talking about this report where 2,000.”

HOUSE SPEAKER

“That you said you got from some unknown officer at your house.”

JOHN BRICENO

“We know that Mr.Speaker.”

HOUSE SPEAKER

“You are abusing your privilege.”

JOHN BRICENO

“You don’t want for the people to hear the truth. That in 2012 the United Democratic Party stole the election with these 2,000 votes. That is the truth.”

HOUSE SPEAKER

“That is the point you’d like to make?”

JOHN BRICENO

“Let me point out something here. Some of these very same people sitting over on the other side were seen taking, my very same colleagues were seen taking boxes of applications late at night when Minister Penner was still in there, that is the truth. In 2012 in that last election the UDP got 62,641 votes, the PUP got 61,829 votes a difference of 812 votes. Right here you have over 2,000 over 2,000 votes Mr.Speaker.”

Briceno went as far to say in his presentation that had it not been for this systemic corruption those in the UDP side of the House would have been in the seats of the Opposition instead.

HOUSE SPEAKER

“But Leader of the Opposition you have to speak properly too. You are looking to impute proper motives on your colleagues, if you want to talk about the conduct of other members of the house it’s simple, bring a motion and specify in there exactly what you are accusing them of doing.”

JOHN BRICENO

“I am pointing out…. Penner is not a minister anymore he is not even in the house and he was the one that was conducting.”

HOUSE SPEAKER

“You want to speak about the honorable Elvin Penner?”

JOHN BRICENO

“He is not honorable anymore. Mr.Speaker let me finish here. Let me continue. When you look at Cayo North East the UDP won by 17 votes, 2,000 nationalities were issued in about four months. Cayo Central won by 44 votes, Pickstock won by 82 votes, Corozal Bay by 148 votes, Belmopan by 218 votes. If they didn’t push these 2,000 votes they wouldn’t have been over there they would have been sitting right over here on this side on the opposition, that is the point I am making Mr.Speaker, we have the evidence. For some time we have been making the case. The point is that we’ve been hearing about what was happening in the immigration department, no other than the Prime Minister when he was holding his head and he said for god sake please stop it because he knew about this Visa quota system that everyone was getting. Yes the same thing with nationalities, when you hear Penner, Penner was caught in the UDP corruption cookie jar. When he gave a nationality to a person who never step foot in Belize he was all the way in jail.”

Briceno faced much heckling and ridicule from the Government side as he carried on with his presentation last Friday evening.