Posted: Saturday, March 25, 2023. 9:43 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: Constituents from the Queen Square electoral division have had no representation in Belize’s National Assembly due the repeated absence of the elected area representative Denise “Sista B” Barrow.
The Government of Belize and the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) met three times this week – Wednesday March 22, Thursday March 23 and Friday March 24, and Barrow was absent for every meeting.
Barrow, the successor of the Queen Square Division from former Area Representative Dean Barrow, won the seat in the November 2020 General Elections with a 55.57 percent majority, a total of 1,351 votes. Barrow beat out the People’s United Party’s Allan Pollard, who had 41.96 percent, a total of 1,020 votes. She was not present at the swearing in of representatives that year, and her repeated absences were a topic of discussion in 2021 and 2022.
Former UDP Party Leader Patrick Faber has said publicly that he would try to encourage Barrow to attend meetings, but those efforts ultimately failed. It is important to note that Barrow has managed to avoid any reprimand for the essential abandonment of her post due to the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. Barrow has reportedly informed the House Speaker, in writing with sufficient notice whenever she was unable to be present at a meeting of the House of Representatives, since 2020.
The Standing Orders also say that a member of the House must miss six consecutive House meetings in a three-month period for that member to commit an infraction that warrants reprimand. Currently, the House does not meet six times within a three-month period, sparing her any such reprimand.
While the necessary requirements for her repeated absences are met on paper, the concerns of the Queen Square residents continue to go unheard in the House of Representatives.
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