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House of Representatives’ Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee wants “Shyne” Barrow to apologize for anti-Speaker email; Shyne says no way

shyne barrow

Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2023. 9:48 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Today, the House of Representatives’ Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee met to consider the conduct of Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow toward Speaker of the House Valerie Woods.

They will recommend at Friday’s meeting of the House, Barrow at the very least apologizes for an email to Woods revealed at the August 11 meeting, following Woods’ denial of a no-confidence motion against the Government to be introduced by the Opposition, when he accused her of being “a waste of time” as Speaker and seeking to protect them.

Deputy Chairman of the Committee and Dangriga area representative Dr Louis Zabaneh told Channel 7 News it’s the least Barrow can do: “We certainly would hope that after this is mentioned in the House this Friday, that within a reasonable time that that would occur; he would have the opportunity in the House itself to make that apology.” Dr Zabaneh added that it would be Barrow’s judgment whether his qualities as a leader would be acceptable to Belizeans who he says are “sick and tired” of his behaviour.

It’s safe to say that Barrow, of course, sees it differently. He called the Government’s position “flawed” as his study of parliamentary practice and Standing Orders in Belize and elsewhere has not found an option for the House Committee to have “wide-ranging interpretations” of Standing Orders that do not cover communications occurring outside the House and there was thus no privileges violated within the House.

“I stand by what I said,” Barrow said, adding, “and I have a right to those views as Leader of the Opposition, and those views are shared by many of my colleagues.”

He ruled out an apology, stating that as members of the Opposition they advocate for the Belizean people generally and that they feel they are being silenced, undermined, that the Government is being shielded and that there is bias. He further repeated that Woods has long-standing ties to the PUP and threatened another privilege motion on Friday to make that point.

Dr Zabaneh notes that both he and Barrow are members of a House Sub-Committee looking into making formal rules in a Code of Conduct, making his conduct in this issue even more glaring.

 

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