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‘The Commissioner of Police needs to resign’ – UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte

Posted: Monday, August 22, 2022. 7:22 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “The Commissioner of Police needs to resign,” said United Democratic Party Chairman Michael Peyrefitte on Monday at a virtual press conference he concerned to explain the UDP plans for a protest against gas prices on Tuesday. 

The UDP is going through with its plans despite the Police Department not giving them a police permit to hold the protest in front of the Shell service station at the Western Entrance of Belize City due to the state of emergency next door in the Saint Martin de Porres area of Belize City.

“We have to set an example as the opposition because that’s our duty and that’s our job and if we are not given permission to protest, well that is another reason to protest. Because we should not be muffled. We cannot be muffled. And that is another reason why the Commissioner of Police should resign because he has gone from police to politician,” Peyrefitte said.

“He has allowed politics to do this,” Peyrefitte said, adding that when the UDP was in power they never denied a permit.

“We checked the records. We never at any one time denied the PUP or any organization the right to protest when we were in government. It is not something that you should deny people. We are going to go out there and let our voices be heard.

“This is still a democracy. This is not Russia. This is not Bulgaria. I mean this is ridiculous. Let us go, let us have our voices be heard and then the people will decide whether or not we have a legitimate voice or not at the next election or to continue a debate or a conversation as to the state of affairs of the country. That’s what happens in a democracy.”

Peyrefitte said that the UDP was given the run-around when they applied for a permit to have the protest. He said first they were told that the time was too short, that they had to allow for more. They applied again through the legitimate process and were again denied on political grounds, he said.

When asked if the UDP were not playing with fire by deciding to proceed with a demonstration without a police permit, he said being denied the right to protest on political grounds is also playing with fire.

“Isn’t it playing with fire that you as the Commissioner of Police decide that you want to muffle opposition voices against your government. That in itself is playing with fire,” the UDP Chairman said.

“We would not be having this type of discussion had he just simply granted the routine request to have the protest … his feelings are hurt, he is thin skin, he’s fighting for the reputation of his political bosses and so he made an ass-backward decision to deny this permission to protest,” he said.

“And we will not be playing with any fire. We will go there tomorrow. We will do our peaceful protest within the law,” said Peyrefitte.

The UDP said on social media that the protesters will leave from the UDP Headquarters at 9:00 am and head to the Shell gas station at Western entrance to Belize City where the protest is planned to occur.


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