UDP Chairman says Pm Briceno should have kept his mouth shut
Prime Minister John Briceno has taken some flack this past week over a comment he made regarding passports. His statement has been interpreted in many corners as being cold and classist as he indicated that the caneros, the indigenous and the southside people do not need passport. His statement came during a discussion on the new passport fees, where Briceno, in essence, was saying that the public purse or tax payers should not absorb the cost of the passport and that those who require one should be willing to pay the price. The statement took a political twist, and since then Briceno is being harshly criticized. Chairman of the main opposition, Michael Peyrefitte, joined the critics and said that the Prime Minister should have kept his mouth shut.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “Well I think every Belizean first of all is entitled to a passport and secondly in this new world that we live in you never know when you may need to travel, go somewhere for an emergency or to visit family or to just have something that identifies you as a Belizean and have you be proud of your nationality. So a passport is something that’s very essential and it was disrespectful of the Prime Minister quite frankly to suggest that certain people I don’t know what he was trying to say that they’re too poor ? Or they’re too stupid and they’re not going anywhere anyway so they don’t need no passport. I think really on that matter he should have just shut up and showed some respect to the Belizean people. Those statements we really ridiculous and of course he has to double down he’s to ashamed of what he said to apologize.”
Peyrefitte went on to say that he hopes the voting population will remember the words of Prime Minister Briceno when election day comes.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “I never thought that you would ever be an apologist for John Briceno, Jules. I mean wonders never cease. But then say that. Then say you know what we have to raise the fees because of this reason or that reason or whatever or you have no way of creating an enabling environment to grow the economy so your only source of income is taxes and this is another opportunity for you to make money off of something that you know you can charge, then say that but don’t imply that oh it won’t hurt those poor people that depend on dan dan and so therefore you don’t have to worry about it you’re not going anywhere in life and you don’t have the ability to travel and you can’t do anything so that price will never affect you. I mean very very disrespectful and he should apologize but like I also said to my friends and to other people that want to listen, you don’t need a passport to vote that’s for sure and I hope those people who were disrespected by those statements remember that they will have a chance to let him know whether or not he will get to keep one of this passports.”