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Sep 17, 2020

Laura Tucker-Longsworth Shares Experience in the House of Representative

Laura Tucker-Longsworth was appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2017, making her the third woman to hold the post. She doesn’t have a background in law, but holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing. She has served on several bodies and is a founding member of the Belize Cancer Society. When she was asked to be part of parliament by the Prime Minister, Tucker-Longsworth questioned her knowledge, but PM Barrow assured her that her life’s work would her guide.  When elections are called, the House will be dissolved and Tucker-Longsworth will no longer be Speaker of the House. That’s just a few weeks away, so we asked her what her experience has been like in the House.

 

Hipolito Novelo

“You will be holding on to the post of Speaker of the House the next couple of weeks or so. Is it because you anticipate that if Patrick Faber wins you will not be re-appointed or more so that the Opposition will be victorious in the general elections?”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth

Laura Tucker-Longsworth, Speaker of the House

“(Laughs) Hipolito, what kind of question is that? That is very, (laughs) okay you made me smile. But you should know that that is how government works. You have your governments and when you work down to where you are heading towards dissolution of parliament which is done prior to an election then everything comes to a halt. So I am not an elected politician. I was invited to be a parliamentarian. But all parliamentarians go back to elections so it is a level playing field. It does not matter who wins or whoever comes back has the opportunity to reconstitute the government and form the government and then that is the process. I like you question. I hear where you are coming from.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How would you describe your experience in the house dealing with hotheaded politicians who rant and rave and cause interruptions in the house when other speakers are talking? It is hard to get control of, I would say.”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth

“Well, I am glad you think it is hard to get control off because sometimes I wonder why I am so exhausted. Hearing you say that now, I understand why I am exhausted. For instance, usually the day after a house meeting I just retreat and read and relax. Maybe it has to do with the aging process. I am sure that has a lot of do with it. But it has been an amazing journey.  I can recall when I was invited to speak as a speaker, I can recall asking the Prime Minister ‘Prime Minister what do I know about parliament?’ He said ‘you life’s work will guide you’. And it sure did. It has been a wonderful journey. Managing the House is always challenging especially when you have a set rule neither side wants to adhere to.  So if you were to stay strictly to those rules then we will be emptying the House minutely.”


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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