One question which was answered very early on in the sitting of the House, in fact before it even got underway was where the Government intended to place the duly elected area representative for Orange Walk East Hon. Marcel Cardona. Cardona spoke out against the UDP in defense of his constituents at the budget debate recently, and since then his political fortunes, as bad as they were, took a decidedly downward turn.
For some reason, the UDP placed Cardona here, at the far end of the Opposition backbench right next to the sound technician. We say placed Cardona because that is where his name-plate was attached, but the thing is that the Orange Walk East Area Representative never showed today. We asked the Leader of the Opposition for a comment.
Hon. John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition
“I find it almost funny if it was not such a serious matter because here you have an elected member who is one of their colleagues, a person that run under the U.D.P ticket, and a person that was elected by the people of Orange Walk East as a U.D.P Representative for the government to so callously treat him with such distain and disregard and to put him not only on the side of the opposition but to put him on the last row, on the last seat on our side. As far as we are concerned Marcel Cardona has been very clear that he was elected as a U.D.P Representative and that he was going to finish his term as a U.D.P representative. His sin was simply because he stood and pointed out what all Belizeans believe that this budget that was presented was a bogus budget and it was an empty pot budget and that he as the representative has been unable to get the goods and the services for his people. He cited many examples where he can’t get a simple culvert to put in the villages of his constituencies and because he chose to stand up and speak for the people that elected him, for the people that he represented then the government had decided that they are going to do everything possible to punish and to humiliate him. I am told that yesterday his government sent officials to Orange Walk to take away the government vehicle that he has been using that can show you the callousness of this government and if they can treat one of their own in such a callous manner then what can we expect when he is treating us the rest of the Belizean people and our social partners. I want to point out to if the Prime Minister believes that Mr. Cardona is no longer a U.D.P and has crossed the floor, as far as I am concerned he has not, then he need to call a bi-election in Orange Walk.”
We have been reliably informed that the UDP did indeed take away Cardona’s government vehicle yesterday which, ironically, was his birthday. We have tried for days to get a comment from Cardona, but with no success so far.