Prime Minister Condemns Opposition Leader’s Behavior in Parliament

Prime Minister Condemns Opposition Leader’s Behavior in Parliament

Friday’s House Meeting was eventful, not because of the 77 million dollar loan motion for a solar power plant, and not so much about the 11th constitutional amendment; but more so because of what has been coined as the disrespect shown to the Speaker of the House, Valerie Woods, by the Leader of the Opposition, Moses Barrow.  In case, you missed our coverage on Friday, the Speaker decided not to have Barrow’s no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, tabled in the House.  Barrow was informed of this decision on Thursday evening, prior to the House Meeting.  As a result, he fired off an email to Speaker Woods, calling her a waste of time and a political hack.  On Friday morning, prior to the house proceedings, Barrow then called for a Privilege Motion against the House Speaker, calling her bias and unfair.  Speaker Woods responded to Barrow’s claim with a reassurance that her decisions are made in consultation with legal minds, and are not to favor any side.  After rendering an explanation to her decision to reject the motion of no-confidence, Speaker Woods recused herself in order to have the Privilege Motion against her play out in the house.  Deputy Speaker, Marconi Leal Sr., took over the proceedings, and gave the Leader of the Opposition, a chance to speak on his privilege motion.  That, however, did not go without hiccups.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “The matter at hand, Mr. Speaker, is the erroneous and most regrettable decision to stop me from presenting the no confidence motion against the Prime Minister and his government at today’s sitting. Mr. Speaker, unlike some of the elitists on that side, this house does not belong to the rich and powerful and the political cronies. This house belongs to the people and as the Leader of the Opposition, I represent 31 constituencies, Mr. Speaker. What is the point of order? What is the point of order?”

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The point of order is that… But you need to sit down first.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I can’t sit until you say a point of order.”

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s not for me to decide.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “What is the point of order?” 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Mr. Speaker.”

Deputy House Speaker: “Go ahead Prime Minister.”

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Point of order Mr. Speaker. The leader is presenting a motion but he is -”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Mr. Speaker on a point of order. The standing orders are right here. If you are going to claim a point of order, give us the number of the point in order. You can’t just say point of order.” 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Under a privilege motion he needs to read his privilege motion not act for TV. He needs to just read the privilege motion so that we can discuss it. Not because we are not TV right now, no documentary.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, this poor excuse for a Prime Minister has been here for 30 years and he should know better, he should know better that when you rise on a point of order, there is a standing order book, Mr. Speaker, and let me educate you, since maybe it’s been so long that you have forgotten. When I present my notice of privilege motion, when I present my notice of privilege motion – what is the point of order? What is the point of order?”

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George: “I will address the speaker, Leader of the Opposition, not you. 38.1. Stick to the contents of your debate. You are supposed to read your privilege motion. Read the motion! Don’t go all over the place, man! Read your motion and let the speaker make a decision. That is what you are here to do. Not act for the camera. Come on!”

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