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Dec 6, 2016

Opposition Leader Will Respect Court Decision; Speaker Makes Final Decision

John Briceño

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, News Five caught up with Leader of the Opposition John Briceño to get a reaction on the ruling.  While admittedly disappointed, he says that they are prepared to respect the position of the high court.  Briceño maintains however, that Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat does in fact have a legitimate claim and that the Speaker of the House of Representatives had no authority in naming the parliamentarian.  Espat’s reinstatement, Briceño says, now lies with the Speaker.

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“I was there along with the deputy leader and other members of the party and I must, whilst I must quickly point out that we will always respect the decisions of the court, in this case the Chief Justice.  We were certainly disappointed that he decided to in his best wisdom not to listen to the case.  We firmly believe that the honorable Julius Espat has a very good case that his constitutional rights were being infringed.  We strongly believe that the proper procedures were not followed in how you go about naming a person and that the Speaker does not have the authority to name a member in the national assembly.  And certainly the aftermath, when you had the police, you know, marching in military fashion and physically, forcibly pull out Honorable Espat from the National Assembly, from the people’s house, you know, we are very concerned about that and I think that this is something that all Belizeans supposed to be concerned about because it is these little things that start picking off and picking off at democracy that then can only lead to tyranny and that is not a part of our culture.  We believe that as the P.U.P. we are the bastions of democracy in our country and we need to be able to do everything possible to protect it.  So we are disappointed and we have to now find out what’s next, what is going to be our next move.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now there’s a house meeting scheduled for this Friday in Belmopan, is he allowed to return?  Where does he stand insofar as this particular decision of the courts?”

 

John Briceño

“Well, as a law abiding citizen he has to respect the decision of the Supreme Court.  I am sure that he is even more disappointed than I am, as to if he is going to be allowed to go in that’s a matter for the Speaker to decide.”

 

As we said, we’ll see if both sides will be able to reach a happy medium on Friday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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