Prime Minister Calls for Amendments to House Standing Orders due to Absentee Representative
Prime Minister John Briceno has called for the amendments to the standing orders of the House of Representatives after elected representative, Denise ‘Sista B’ Barrow is yet to attend a meeting since elections. The request was made this morning during the House Meeting, but not without interruption and objection from the Leader of the Opposition, Shyne Moses Barrow.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam Speaker, I have something that’s been really, really bothering me. Today is the 28th House meeting that we have since we were elected, Madam Speaker. Please, twenty eight House meetings and the Honorable Member from Queen Square has refused to come to House meetings. I find that disrespectful to this House, disrespectful to the people of Queen Square, Madam Speaker. I find it disrespectful that the Leader of the Opposition, her nephew, I am asking if she has it right?”
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Madam Speaker on a point of order if the prime minister has a problem he can raise that in a substantive motion Madam Speaker, he’s not supposed to use his opportunity to introduce a bill to do that.”
House Speaker: “Wait, wait. Mr. Leader of Opposition, the prime minister asked-”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The speaker can allow me to bring up something that’s an issue. Madame Speaker, the point is..”
House Speaker: “Continue, Prime Minister. No, we won’t have that. Continue, Prime Minister.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madame Speaker, that is the very point. That the Leader of the Opposition is the nephew of the Honorable Member from Queen Square so it’s an embarrassment on him that he can’t get his aunt to come home.”
House Speaker: “ I’m trying… Mr. Prime Minister, my apologies for the interruption. Mr. Leader of Opposition, please.”
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Change the standing orders. You are grandstanding.”
House Speaker: “Mr. Leader of Opposition, I’ve said it. This is the third time, please.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam Speaker, I just, I think it’s just very important to make the point that she continues to collect a salary and refuses to represent the people of Queens Square. If she was not interested then why did she put her name on a ballot? She could resign right now and we could have a ene election right now but coming to the point that you are making. Madam Speaker, I am asking the chairman that’s responsible for the standing orders, Madam Speaker to make an amendment to the standing orders so we can deal with any member that refuses to come to house meetings. Twenty-eight host meetings is… Honorable Member from Queen’s Square refuses to come and show her face. 28th House meetings. Not only disrespect to us in this House and a disrespect to her nephew, the Leader of the Opposition, but an even a greater disrespect to the good people of Queen’s Square, and the good people of Queen’s Square deserve good representation.”
Sista B was elected as the Area Representative for Queen’s Square division in November 2020. She is the sister of her predecessor in Queen’s Square, Dean Barrow.