By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Following the carrot comment by Minister Jose Abelardo Mai in the House of Representatives to Albert Representative Tracy Taegar Panton, the United Democratic Party’s National Organization of Women (UDP NOW), said, in a press release on Friday, that it “strongly objects to the manner in which the Prime Minister, Hon. Johnny Briceño and his Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Jose Mai spoke to Hon. Tracy Panton in the House”.
UDP Now, like the UDP itself, said Mai’s comment was disrespectful. Specifically Jose Mai said “go sit on the carrots and take a photo then I will believe you,” as a reaction to a Facebook post made earlier in the week that carrots were rotting in the field due to lack of markets.
“After a review of their presentation, we classify Minister Mai’s comments to Hon. Panton as condescending, lewd, distasteful and disrespectful,’ said the UDP NOW press release.
UDP NOW went on to say that both the Prime Minister and Minister Mai bullied Representative Taegar Panton. The UDP women’s organization went on to say that it’s not the first time the Prime Minister uses “such offensive tactics against Hon. Panton”.
Though Minister Mai’s comments were widely circulated by a UDP post on social media, and it’s clear UDP NOW is referring to that, UDP NOW, however, doesn’t say what the Prime Minister said or in what form he bullied Representative Panton.
“At a time when we have a heightened awareness of abuse in Belize, we call on the Prime Minister and Hon. Mai to apologize to Hon. Panton and to refrain from disrespecting and bullying, especially in the capacity as the Prime Minister and member of the esteemed House of Representatives of Belize.”