pennerThe harsh reality of this entire tittle-tattle in the passport and nationality issuance is that the United Democratic Party and its leader, the Hon. Dean Barrow, continue to support the Former Minister of State in the Immigration and Nationality Department, Elvin Penner. In fact, the Honorable Dean Barrow says he believes that Penner should be given a second chance by the people of Cayo Northeast. But at the same time he held his ground and mentioned that Penner will never make it back into Cabinet. That is somewhat contradictory since the top brass of the UDP has been dispatched to Cayo Northeast to appeal and persuade voters not to take part in the on-going recall process launched by the Opposition and supported by numerous organizations including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Bear in mind that the UDP only has a two seat majority in Parliament and losing Penner, although somewhat ironic, would be like losing their Ace card.

Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize 

"Penner is not only removed from the UDP Cabinet, Penner can never return to the UDP Cabinet. Thus, there is no question of Penner being able to do any further harm to my administration or the governance of that administration. When our people go into Cayo Northeast and say to the electors to please do not recall Penner. We make it clear that we are asking this because we have an interest in preserving the government of the United Democratic Party. We do so on a basis that you might want to suggest a self-serving, but we do so on a basis that is anchored in our belief that we have done a very good job of bringing development and progress to this country. We do so on a basis that a part from the achievements that are already in the books - that are already on record. We have now been able to unlock this Petro Caribe largest, if you will, which will allow us to drive the infrastructure job creating development agenda in a way that as I said will usher in a hitherto unseen golden age of growth in this country."

"We believe that in the context of that larger picture we are entitled to go to ask the people of Cayo Northeast to help us preserve our government even if means thereby they are preserving Penner's seat. Ultimately they will decide."

Jules Vasquez- Reporter

"The recall threshold is impossible high for anyone to mobilize 65% of the electorate in an off season. However, that entire process can be short-circuited if he simply resigns and he is perhaps no stranger to inducements - his history certainly suggests that he may be entertaining offers for such a thing. Is that something that you all have to guard against by flanking his with support and showing him that the party has not abandoned him although there is clearly a moral hazard for the UDP in so doing?"

Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize 


"You are a hell of a fellow and that's a hell of a question. There have been those suggestions that the other side is offering inducements to Hon. Penner to get him to resign. I have asks him about that and he has said no. Earlier I indicated that one of the reasons why we do not wish the recall mechanism to succeed is because we want to preserve our already slim majority. In that context it is a worry that perhaps Penner could go in consequence of that sort of an arrangement. I earnestly hope that it won't prove to be so."

We will have more on the press conference in tomorrow’s newscast.

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