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Apr 22, 2021

Speaker Sets Tone at Start of the Debate

Valerie Woods

At the start of today’s budget debate, Speaker of the House Valerie Woods laid down the ground rules of the House, based on the Standing Orders. She reminded all members these standing orders dictate how members must address each other and the type of language to be used.  Her reminder was no doubt prompted by the hurling of insults and subsequent walk-out by the Opposition during the budget presentation two weeks ago. At least one member concurred offering her support to the speaker.


Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House

“Following the disorderly events that immediately precede the adjournment of tis house on the last occasion, I have since met with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the member for Cayo South. I did so sincerely in an attempt that moving forward there is not a repeat of what transpired at the last meeting. The standing order of this house require that all members refrain from using unparliamentary language. You elected me as speaker to fairly and impartially referee the proceedings of this house according to the rules set out tin the standing orders. That is precisely what I intent to do for so long as I remain the presiding officer of this chamberMembers, I get it; House meetings are not Sunday school or church services. But neither are House meetings a street brawl or club brawl. It should be the place where the chosen representative of the people debates policy and high matters of stake. Debate will be aggressive, passionate and loud. But they must not descend to personal lewd or disrespectful attacks against each other. If that is what members want, then simply change the rules to allow it and elect a new speaker.”


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Area Representative, Belize Rural Central

“And I wish first and foremost madam speaker for the dignity and professionalism that you have brought to the remit that you now bear.  I only want to say to the leader of the opposition through you madam speaker, don’t come here with unbecoming conduct and bleating and calling out people family members. Through you madam speaker that is going to stop. And I will make sure that whenever they descend into that kind of foolishness, I will raise my voice in objection.”

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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