Minister Kareem Musa discusses House drama involving the LOO
It’s a situation that Opposition Leader Moses Barrow says resulted from the Speaker’s erroneous ruling because he simply wanted clarification on the matter that was being discussed. When we asked Minister Kareem Musa for his interpretation of the showdown, he said that one of the problems is that Barrow constantly interrupts speakers on the government side, and the disruptions are becoming frustrating and discouraging.
Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “When it comes to House meetings these days I try not to even get involved because I realize that there is just so much disruption. It’s never been like this Courtney. Every single time that a member on our side gets up to speak the Leader of the Opposition disrupts continuously and so it’s not conducive to discussing the people’s business to always be interrupting speakers. And so on that particular day the Speaker of the House rightfully put a warning and said you continuously doing this. Let us try to respect others because when the Leader of the Opposition is speaking nobody interrupts him you know ? He’s allowed to speak freely and express his point of view and I don’t know why that respect is not mutual or reciprocated to our side And so after that was done while I will was speaking he got up, did not have a point of order he is saying no it’s elucidation but he did not express what his point of order was and in fact became very disrespectful to the speaker. Now he’s just chalking it up and saying oh he is saying that the speaker is PUP, he is trying to downplay but in actuality the effect of what he was saying because what he was insinuating is that the speaker is biased and he is calling into question the integrity and reputation of the chair that is essentially what he was doing and that has never been done in the seven years that I’ve been a part of the House of Representatives. We have always had respect for the previous Madam Speaker but for whatever reason and then he tried to hide it on top of that to compound what he has already done in calling into question the speaker’s integrity he then tried to lie and say I did not say that. You could just look at the clip and he was trying to deny that because he knew exactly what he was doing. And so it is very unfortunate like I said and perhaps it’s just part of the learning curve because he is a first time area rep but he is a Leader of the 0pposition and a lot more is expected out of him in terms of his professionalism and his respect for the speaker of the house. So I’m hoping that moving forward these types of disruptions can come to an end and we can have that respect because like I said we always sit there and listen to what he has to say. Many times not making any times, many times not reading the laws that are presented to him but we still listen, we still sit there and listen to him so that is all we are expecting. Professionalism and that he respects our side as well.”
Reporter: Sir the cadence of your comments seem to suggest that there is a sense of frustration with these interruptions isn’t there?
Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “Obviously because you cannot have a productive meeting, you’re discussing very important bills that would affect each and every Belizean, you’re at home watching this on TV you would want to hear what different members have to say and so if we’ve heard the oppositions aside that’s wonderful we’ve heard why you’re opposing it but let the government also have a say why is it that only you get to speak? All the time and interrupt all the time that’s totally unnecessary and so there is a level of frustration because every time one of us gets up to make a point there is the interruption so it is getting frustrating and certainly discouraging.”