When we left you on Friday, we told you of the walkout by the main opposition from the Sitting of the House of Representatives meeting. The walkout was on the grounds that Cayo South Member, Julius Espat had issued a supposedly racial comment to the Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Faber. The opposition was livid, saying that when Espat said, “sit down, boy” to Faber it was an insult and offensive. Espat has since denied the accusation saying there was no underlying racial comment or innuendos. An outburst such as what occurred on Friday has seemingly become the norm as this is not the first time that members have walked out from what is to be an honorable house. We take you back to a few sittings where things have gone out of hand.
Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South: “When you have the Prime Minister insulting this gentleman by name and you are giving them opportunities to do that and I am talking about good governance, what is your problem Mr.Speaker ?”
Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House: “The problem is they pay me to ensure that you do your job and that is impossible. You know what that statement – can I get a minister to name this person please? You’re gonna tell me -“
Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South: “And this whole goddamn House of Representatives is a joke !”
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “I had forgotten that I did not take my pain killers and so I had to turn back around to get my pain killers. Wish that you had turned back around to get your simple pills that’s what you should have done.”
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “That is the problem Madam Speaker, this man is on so much drugs, the drugs are getting to his head Madam Speaker. All of the drugs that he has to take for his pain is starting to affect his health Madam Speaker that is the problem.”
Hon. Said Musa, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “When the Leader of the Opposition was speaking the microphone was turned off.”
Speaker of the House: We’ll have to monitor that Right Honorable.
Hon. Said Musa, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “And he had to shout so that people could hear him, that’s a disrespect to this side of the House.”
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Tell you that we are going to step out and he can continue and do his illegal reading and when he finish with this charade we are going to come back. Let him read by himself and we are going to come back afterwards. Thank you Madam Speaker.”
Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “Madam Speaker and they lock up my bwai constituents for a corned beef. Lock him up for a corn beef when the highest man in this land acts illegally and unconstitutionally and he comes here in our face to present another stupid bill that means absolutely nothing.”
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “Really Madam Speaker I understand why somebody said with respect to these memes that if desperate were person it would be the Leader of the Opposition.”
Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber may have been on the receiving end last Friday but as our archives showed, he too had dished out some disrespect.
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “Again that act but I think all Schizophrenics area actors- I shouldn’t have said Schizophrenic again I apologize.”
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam speaker just last week we had a tragic incident and people with mental health issues Madam Speaker and it’s I think shameful that the Prime Minister is trivializing something like that.”
SPEAKER: “Honorable Opposition Leader thank you.”
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “It is as I had said to you a long time ago but I think it bears repeating. You want to play campecino but you’re not a campesino you’re nothing but a peasant. Now Madam Speaker let me continue and there’s nothing wrong with the word peasant, nothing wrong with the word.”
Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “Madam Speaker I appreciate when the Prime Minister calls me a peasant you know because a peasant is a hard working rural person. I have absolutely no shame in being called a peasant.”
SPEAKER: “Have a seat then member. Prime Minister this is getting testy, maybe we need to move on.”
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Minister of Education: “I listened as the member for Lake I went on about land corruption as well. Well mek we talk about that for a minute. My friend the Leader of the Opposition, the member from Orange Walk Central should never open his mouth about land deals and corruption. He started this morning by attacking my colleague and then when my colleague from Belmopan answered him he cried wolf. That one from Toledo West jumped up “Oh it’s all about the budget, that’s not about the budget.” like he has been doing. Looks like it’s him they wound up to jump up today like jack in the box.”
Prior to the elections last November both sides had made a commitment to the public that future house meetings would have been civil. Our newsroom awaits.