Posted: Friday, June 3, 2022. 8:00 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “The United Democratic Party is appalled at the nasty verbal assaults directed at Hon. Tracy Panton in today’s House Meeting,” said the Opposition Party on Friday in a social media post.
“We strongly condemn the comment made by the Member from Orange Walk South, Jose Mai, and call shame on all the members who laughed and cheered him on. It is a most shameless display of misogyny!” said the United Democratic Party.
Taegar Panton said earlier on a social media post that Minister Mai’s comment that she should ‘Go sit on the carrots’, made in the Sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday, is unparliamentary, disrespectful and sexist. Specifically Jose Mai said “when you go and sit down on the carrots and take a photograph then I will believe it,” as a reaction to a Facebook post made earlier in the week that carrots were rotting in the field due to lack of markets.
“The specific reference made that I should go sit on a carrot is completely unparliamentary and has no place in the House. Complete disrespect for ALL women in Belize,” wrote Taegar Panton on social media.
“When you go and sit down on the carrots and take a photograph I will believe it,” Mai said in the House of Representatives. “The next time you go to San Carlos, you go and sit on the carrots and take a photograph and make it evidence. Do not come here and lie.”
In her post, Taegar Panton asked if the House Speaker missed the sexual innuendo.
Mai later told Breaking Belize News that what he said was taken out of context.
“I would never say that to any lady, that’s not Jose Mai,” said Minister Mai.
“What I said in the context of what she had put on Facebook, the photograph of carrots that had been thrown and were rotting, in the context I said it was that the next time for me to believe that carrots are rotting in the field, she needs to sit next to it and take a photograph.
“That’s the context of what I said, not that she would sit on carrots. That is not what I said or intended to say but at the time I was speaking she also started to speak back to me, so it got rowdy and unclear of what I was saying, but I would never say that.”
The UDP also fired at the Speaker Valerie Woods for not reprimanding Minister Mai.
“We find it even more disappointing that Speaker Woods chose not to reprimand Mai for his vile comments. We hope it is the case that Madam Speaker missed the remarks, though we find that hard to believe since the foul mouth member repeated the insult. We condemn this laissez faire approach by the Honourable Speaker which is now characteristic of her chairing: allowing those on the Government side to insult, belittle and bully members of the opposition bench.”
“We call on Speaker Woods to demand an apology from and censor the Member from Orange Walk South. It has now become clear that members of the government side have no regards [sic] for the authority of the Speaker and no respect for the Honourable House. We call on her to rein in those members who persist in this behaviour and to manage the affairs of the house with the decorum required,” said the UDP’s post.
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