A 4-page document filing a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly and signed by the Leader of the Opposition and the PUP’s Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat. The no-confidence motion is simply that; a written note telling the National Assembly that they have no confidence in the Prime Minister to continue leading this country and that he should resign immediately. Love News spoke with Espat and asked him to explain.
Julius Espat, Cayo South Standard, People’s United Party: “We have been for twelve years now explaining to the people and going through the necessary legal process, legislative processes, we have gone to the media, we have gone to the people in detail explaining and showing how he has done absolutely nothing to follow up on what he had promised. It is not only the People’s United Party it is the social partners as you’ve seen recently the NTUCB and all the unions came out last week in force asking the same things basically that we have been saying. So that is the main one, that he is not fit because he came promising us to do certain things and he failed us miserably at that. Secondly because of him not listening to us when we were recommending to him that certain procedures needed to be followed in how he spent the people’s money we took it to the courts, we used the third branch of government which was the Judiciary and the Judiciary found out through the Chief Justice that the Prime Minister acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully in spending of $1.5 billion dollars. That’s a judgment made by the court and in anywhere in any democratic country once a judgment like that is made against a Prime Minister he should ethically, morally resign and call elections so that any other government, any other party or even the same party gets a new mandate that’s one of the other main reasons but there is many others that you read. High crime rate hasn’t been able to come down. We’re in a serious recession. Drug planes landing left right and center as you’ve seen last night another one landed. The recession I’m not saying it the Statistical Institute brought it out yesterday so everything that we have put in here is a reality of life living in Belize it’s becoming like a Netflix series. A no confidence motion is nothing new. Maybe in Belize where we don’t utilize the procedures that are in place for us and so let’s look at it in other areas. The statistics internationally shows that it most of the time doesn’t pass but it provides positive results because it engages, it forces the populace to listen, to educate themselves, to learn more in how we are governed and that is really what we want. We want to be able to do the necessary reforms so that your children can live in a better Belize, better than we are living in now so that your daughter or your son would aspire to be a politician. Right now nobody wants to even use the word because it’s tainted. We have to give hope to our citizens that someday the level of people that are participating in politics represents the better of us.”
In order for a no-confidence motion to be successful, it has to be accompanied by the majority of the 31 Area Representatives. With the Prime Minister having the majority in the House, it is quite certain that the motion will fail. According to Espat, it’s not about whether the motion fails or passes, it is about putting it out there for the Belizeans to be aware of how bad things are.
Julius Espat, Cayo South Standard, People’s United Party: “Yes all Belizean are cynical to the point as to any politicians proposing anything. How serious are we? Well we’re serious enough to be putting in the motion. You want to call it show others would call it responsibility, others would call it transparency and transparency by means of ventilating the issues so there are lots of adjectives that you could put as to what it’s supposed to be but in reality what we are doing is informing and educating the people. If we will win depends on if the people in government sitting on the other side are putting country before party because the issues that we have brought up are crystal clear. A judgment, dah now we say it no politician say it the judge say it. In fact the judge neva even have to think about it, it is your Financial Secretary and your defense attorney who was an ex attorney general out of the Eastern Caribbean that said ‘We noh got no defense boss we guilty.’ that was said in court and I think Love FM had some reporters there that can witness that because it’s not me saying it either because you know how it goes when a politician says we turn it left to right. So that’s one, that’s a clear fact. Drug planes are landing left, right and center that’s another fact. Crime rate is incredibly high, that’s another fact. Conviction rate is less than 7% that’s a major fact. The country is in recession that’s a fact. That you acted illegally and unlawfully in the way you are spending the people’s money that’s a fact and so if the members of the United Democratic Party in the House are willing to stand up again to defend party against country it will be seen, that is where the show comes about. Let us see if they are putting country before party. If they’re putting country before party then the will understand that this has to be done and let’s deal with it let the Prime Minister resign, let’s call elections. Let the people decide.”
Espat says when he checked the figures and the illegal spending under the Barrow administration, it was noted that the country could have benefited in education and health.
Julius Espat, Cayo South Standard, People’s United Party: “Even before I got into politics I didn’t take it serious. I didn’t realize how we were being made fools of by our leaders because in that era everything was done under the table and in darkness and when something popped out it was really a miracle. Nowadays because of the fourth estate, because of technology, because of our mobile devices, because of access to information at seconds away we are starting to become more aware. But not everybody is focused on governance, we di worry about which club open tonight or which restaurant nice fi go eat or what dah di new trend of clothing, you understand me? Our materialistic needs and wants supersede what really should be affecting us because how you’re governed is very much important. I just calculated the $1.5 -illegal spending- $1.5 billion would give the Belizean people twenty years of free education and free healthcare. Imagine that, every single Belizean in this country would have had access to free healthcare and access to free education up to UB if this money was not spent illegally and unconstitutionally and was invested in education and healthcare. Twenty years of relief. Now imagine what that does to an economy. A healthy population produces more. Combine that with an educated population and your economy soars and so that is what I want the Belizean people to understand. We noh di fight Dean Barrow as a person we are fighting a Prime Minister of Belize that has fooled this nation by campaigning on a platform of good governance and accountability and anticorruption and has failed miserably at it and we are just using one other procedure available to us within the law to highlight the problem. Other countries go to the streets and start revolutions, we don’t believe in that in Belize. We definitely don’t believe in that in the People’s United Party. It is a stark difference to 2007 when there was civil disobedience being called upon by the then opposition leader who is now Prime Minister of Belize. The People’s United Party believes that we have to do this thing the proper way and so we’re going through the avenues given to us as a Legislature and the avenues given to us under the law and that’s why we’ve also gone to Judiciary. So we can be ridiculed, we can be called names, we can be accused of putting on a show but whatever it takes for the people to understand and whatever it takes for us to have a better country. That’s the whole idea behind it.”
We will keep following the progress of this no-confidence motion.