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Dec 9, 2016

Defiant Espat Vows to Resist as Colleagues Try Intercession

John Briceño

While the first attempt at returning Julius Espat to his seat in the House was unsuccessful, Espat’s fellow parliamentarians seemed to miss him somewhat, as the House was largely well-behaved – or at least, more so than usual. It was either that or the Christmas spirit that convinced a bipartisan effort to resolve the impasse, with three veteran parliamentarians supporting Espat’s return, though with an understanding that he cannot disrespect the House as some allege he has.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I am appealing to your good sense of fair play and also on behalf of the people of Cayo South; they need their representative in this Honorable House. He was elected to represent them; three months, more than three months has passed since he was unceremoniously escorted out of this National Assembly. I am appealing to you, to the Acting Prime Minister and to the whip of the U.D.P., the honorable Member from Mesopotamia; we’ve had some discussions in trying to find a way how to resolve this as quickly as possible; it is important for us to continue the work of the people.”

 

Michael Finnegan

Michael Finnegan, Area Rep., Mesopotamia

“I would suggest, sir, that the member from Fort George and myself as Party Whip from this side continue [to] speak on this matter, and bring the matter to an end.”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Area Rep., Port Loyola

“I want to join in and ask this honorable House to resolve this matter as quick as we could; and also too, you see that in everything it was Julius Espat’s fault, with all the carrying on and thing, because I always maintained to him that this game dah wah big man game, and this game have rules and the rules are the Standing Orders. When you get up in the House and say that the Standing Orders you go by are from the people from Cayo South, that noh govern yah. And for me, I want to make an appeal to this Honorable House for us to settle this thing as quick as we could and Mister Espat need to understand that this is the National Assembly and your behaviour, I noh think, like weh the court decided, no run the rules yah; dah we amongst weself run the rules yah. But I want to appeal, Mr. Speaker, for this resoltuon with Mister Espat to [be resolved] as quick as we could.”

 

This evening, Espat wrote on social media that he will not apologize to the Speaker for various reasons. He says that apologizing would mean that he agrees that the procedure for his suspension was done in accordance with the Standing Orders and that government will do everything possible to intimidate anyone who exposes their wrong doings and corrupt acts. Espat believes that a dictatorial party cannot be allowed to manipulate a weak system against the will of the people. And finally he wrote that he and his family are willing to make all the sacrifices necessary, so that future generations of this country will be able to live in a Belize that is fair and just. There won’t be another House Sitting until 2017, and by then the hope is that cooler heads prevail. 

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