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Referendum bill debated in the house

The exchange in today’s sitting got started with the two leaders battling it  out for a few minutes; then came the rest of parliamentarians throwing shade across the floor and hurling some not so nice innuendos, now and again.  Here is a recap of the highlights.

Jose Sanchez: “The order of the day had only one purpose, the introduction of the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Bill 2019. The Bill would fix the procedural errors that would be challenged in court by the PUP and won them an injunction on the Referendum. The PM chastised the PUP hypocrisy because when the Special Agreement was signed the PUP attorney and former Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay celebrated.”

Honorable Dean Barrow: “The opposition decided to abandon the very Special Agreement that they had touted as the answer of all our prayers. They began to knit pick, to fault find and to nickel and dime us to perdition in order to do two things: To resile from their declared and formally yes position to the ICJ and to do anything to get a no even if to get that no they had ultimately by any means necessary to try to stop the Referendum from even happening. The international community Madam Speaker: The EU, the UK, and the US have formally declared to be the inalienable democratic right of our citizens to vote in a Special Agreement Referendum. This Bill is designed to ensure that the people of this country must, the people of this country will have their Referendum.

Jose Sanchez: “Leader of the Opposition John Bricenio was particularly upset with the PM for passing through the BIll in all three stages today.”

The Leader of the Opposition: “This is obscene Madam Speaker. Fifteen days theoretically, do you know what theoretically means? I can get you the dictionary but we have Mr. Google to explain to you what theoretically means and so just relax yourself man. Fifteen days, why such a haste Madam Speaker? I know that the Prime Minister is getting advanced in age so I will forgive his lapses in memory but need I remind him. Remember the Maya Culpa Maritime Areas Act, do you remember what you said in the House? when you were supporting the PUP Government with Maritime Areas Act and because his party was putting a lot of pressure on him he then pulled back the support he was giving and now he dares talks about not changing his mind. Do I need to remind him about the facilitation process? I don’t want to scandal him and I won’t go into the details. What he was blackmailing the PUP Government for the support for the facilitation process Madam Speaker.”

Madam Speaker: “Excuse me but those are strong words, blackmail is a strong word.

The leader of the Opposition John Bricenio: “But it is the truth Madam Speaker. Bring the Special Agreement to the House for us to have a full debate because once it is accepted by Parliament then we can’t pull back but if we go the ICJ and for some reason the ICJ decides that we have to amend our boundaries god forbid for that to ever happen, which member of Parliament here in this House will get up and agree to take off any piece of land from Belize Madam Speaker.”