During our interview with UDP Chairman, Michael Peyrefitte, on Tuesday we asked him about the current situation in parliament. There have been two changes in the Leader of the Opposition in the House, there have been changes in Senators and there are two UDP area representatives who have not attended House Meetings. We asked Senator Michael Peyrefitte if Patrick Faber and Denyse “Sista B” Barrow will be at the next house sitting and whether their absences show weakness in the UDP. Here’s how he responded.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “There are rules towards attending the House meeting and none of them have broken the rules. Sista B and Patrick Faber are duly elected representatives from their constituencies and the way they have represented their constituencies and the way they their constituencies support them I am sure that none of them are doing anything that their constituencies would not approve of so that is what I will say right away. Second of all attending House meetings are important but it’s not the only thing you do as an Area Rep. I can tell you Sista B does what counts and the people they like to be represented in parliament but even more so than that the people want to know they have a real representative in the street not just in parliament. So yes would you like to see all five people in parliament? Yes, it’s my hope and expectation that that will happen very soon. I don’t know if they will attend the next meeting that is their right but they are entitled to miss what the rules allow them to miss. And I dare anyone to challenge any of those two since they have so much criticism of them I can guarantee you almost that none of them will lose their seat so if you think that they are so bad then challenge them and you will see. Because their people are not looking at House meeting attendance as the main reasons why they support them from what I have heard.”
More than that, Senator Peyrefitte adds, the presentations made by the remaining three in the house – Shyne Barrow, Hugo Patt and Tracy Panton – have been consistently stellar, which shows that the party remains strong.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “We are not weak because it’s not just quantity it’s also quality and so when you have the party leader Shyne Barrow, when you have Hugo and you have Tracy those are three formidable people who are actually saying something meaningful in the House the rest of them on the other side are just following along whatever the Prime Minister says because that either want to keep their ministries or they don’t want to lose their ministries or they are trying to gain one. And then many people would say the power is not even really in the House anyway it’s in the Senate because Eamon Courtenay is the real Prime Minister of Belize and the de facto Prime Minister of Belize. So what Kareem, and Musa and all of them say in the House it doesn’t matter. When the bills would reach Eamon Courtenay in the Senate he is the one who decides what becomes law and what doesn’t become law so I don’t think it’s an issue.”