Extended House Proceedings Witness Heated Exchanges and Points of Order

Extended House Proceedings Witness Heated Exchanges and Points of Order

The House of Representatives proceedings carried on for about seven hours today.  After having gotten off to a late start, the sitting saw numerous points of order by both sides of the House.  The first was when the Leader of the Opposition gave the run around when presenting on the privilege motion.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “The effect of the decision to deny the Leader of the Opposition the ability to present a no confidence motion is in essence silencing the opposition. The speaker could have altered the no confidence motion. There were minor alterations that could have been done. Because the difference between saying the Prime Minister is guilty of malfeasance and non-fleeceance could have been it is an allegation and it is a legitimate allegation Mr. Speaker that is being investigated by the Senate.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker on a point of order, on a point of order.”

Deputy House Speaker: “What’s your point of order?”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “38.1 let the Leader of the Opposition know confines his debate to the subject. He has a privileged motion. Read the motion. He has still not read the motion. Go ahead and read the motion so that you can make a decision, Mr. Speaker.”

Deputy House Speaker: “Point accepted. Please stick to the motion. That’s all -”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “This is what I submitted to the speaker and I am allowed 15 minutes to make my arguments.”

Deputy House Speaker: “But it’s out. 15 minutes out.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “They keep interrupting me. Thank you.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Mr.Speake will he continue or will you make – Maybe he wants his fifteen minutes of fame that is what he wants for the camera but that’s all he’s going to get. Point of order Mr.Speaker.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “If you would stop interrupting me, then I could finish. Show some decorum. Oh, I forgot, you’re from a garrison constituency. So you’re not of the caliber, according to the member from Cayo South.”

The second point of order came when the members of the gallery in support of the opposition kept hurling comments and insults to the members of the government.  This saw the member of Toledo East asking that the gallery be cleared.

Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “Mr. Speaker, this is a clear example…”

Oscar Requena, Area Representative, Toledo West: “On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I would like to refer your attention, Mr. Speaker, to standing order 87 that deals with the matter of strangers in the House. And let me just… Mr. Speaker. Let me make it absolutely clear, standing order 87 states strangers may be present in the chamber of the House in the places set apart for them under such rules as the speaker may make from time to time for that purpose. Number four, “strangers must preserve silence and must conduct themselves in a fit and proper manner during the sitting.” Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to have that side sitting in this house here who have been disrespecting us from the very beginning. From the very beginning, Mr. Speaker, and in particular, Mr. Speaker. Alberto August who sits there has been disrespectful and I am asking you Mr. Speaker to please remove him.”

The third point of order was with member for Fort George, Henry Charles Usher, when he called out the Albert Member, Tracy Panton, to take a stand on the disrespect shown by Barrow against the Speaker of the House, as well on comments made on the President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU).

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Let me ask the member from Albert do you support that letter that was written to the Speaker of this house this morning, member from Albert? Are you in support of that? Do you condone the way the speaker was referred to? Do you condone that behaviour of a woman?”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “No, on my feet. On my feet. Member for Albert. I’m on my feet. The matter of this morning will be dealt with where it ought to be dealt with. Not here. We have moved on from that. There are orders, there are procedures. The contempt of House will be dealt with where it ought to be dealt with. That is not here when we are wrapping up this bill.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Madam Speaker thank you for explaining that. But I can’t see why I can’t ask a member. Does the member condone the way the Leader of the Opposition spoke about the president of the Belize National Teachers Union earlier? Does she condone that Madam Speaker because I don’t hear any opposition coming from that side. None. It is a pattern of behavior, Madam Speaker, that the opposition seems to think is okay. You know?”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “On a point of order.”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “One second. What is the point of order?”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I seek clarification from the member. What did I say about the president? I said she deserves a second chance.”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “Will the member yield?”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Yield what, Madam Speaker?”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “He’s seeking your clarification.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I’m seeking your clarification member from Fort George.”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives:  “He requires you to yield for that.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Madam Speaker if he wants the answer to be read back, he can ask for that. Madam Speaker, let me read from… if you allow me to read from a news report from the Leader of the Opposition. He gave an interview January 4, 2023, endemic corruption, can I read? Thank you. “Endemic corruption is a bipartisan matter. And I would think with the vigor that the Briceno administration went after René Montero for essentially the same thing, using their ministerial powers to, Rene Montero is referring to, to abuse assets under their control. This is what I heard on the recording about the Mormons and Mr Lev Dermen. It’s clear in the Constitution that you can’t use your office for personal gain and so if a willful suppression charge could be slapped on Mr Montero, I don’t see why it can’t be applied to Mr. Saldivar.” Madam Speaker this was said a few months ago, January 2023, but all of a sudden now he has embraced this corruption. All of a sudden now he has made sure that he’s walking.” 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Madam Speaker on a point of order he’s imputing improper motives. What corruption am I embracing? He just said that I am embracing corruption, Madam Speaker. It’s not…”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “Member for Fort George, I will ask that you clarify what you meant by that.” 

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Madam Speaker, he said it. Now all of a sudden they’re walking together.  Before he wanted charges to be brought. Charges to be brought. He wanted charges to be brought, Madam Speaker. Now all of a sudden, no, it is a complete change why because he has signed some kind of agreement with his caucus for change and now he cannot come up and argue anything about corruption in the House.”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “One second.” 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “He has to speak to the debate. The debate is the 11th Amendment, not my relationship with John Saldivar. I know you’re the chairman of the PUP. ….”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “Member for Mesopotamia, please sit. Member for Mesopotamia.”When the back and forth concluded on the privilege motion, the Deputy Speaker issued a rejection.

Deputy House Speaker: “Leader of the Opposition, after listening to your presentation, it is my decision that your motion is not allowed, will not be allowed because this is because the motion is inconsistent with the standing orders. You can however bring a motion at this house at any other time providing that the motion does not contravene with the standing orders. So there will be no debate today.”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “Mr. Speaker, at the point of order, a member from the gallery is straightening the Chair. You need to make a decision. He cannot say that he will send somebody to move you. Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, please. Mr. Speaker.” 

Deputy House Speaker: “Member. Member from Fort George.  Leader of the Opposition and Member from Fort George I did not hear what they said in the gallery, but let’s move on.”

Love News understands that the Leader of the Opposition can bring back the motion with the necessary adjustments.

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