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The Budget Debate Sees a Scarcity of Opposition Members

The Budget Debate – it’s known to be the longest sessions in the National Assembly each year. Today was the first of the 2-day debate and it carried on for about eight hours, but it had minimal participation from the opposition. While Area Representative for Corozal North, Hugo Patt made a brief appearance, only the Leader of the Opposition, Moses Shyne Barrow and Area Representative for Albert, Tracy Panton were present for the entire session. As has become the norm, Denise ‘Sista B’ Barrow for Queen’s Square and Patrick Faber of Collet were not present. It’s a showing that did not go unnoticed, and Fort George’s Henry Charles had no qualms pointing it out.
Henry Charles Usher, Representative for Fort George, Minister of Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform: I’m wondering if the other side feels that they don’t have to show up in the House anymore. Why is it that we have so many empty chairs on the other side of the House? If the Leader of the Opposition, if the members who are here today are serious about democracy, are serious about moving this country forward then they will make sure that their colleagues are here in the House at every single House meeting. They were elected to represent people, Mister Speaker. They were elected to do the work of the people. Yet they are absent. They are ghosts, ghost representatives. I’m wondering if the “D” in the UDP now stands for duppy because that seems like what they are now, ghost representatives.”