Senate Presidents- What a difference between the PUP and the UDP! Print E-mail
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Friday, 24 May 2019 00:00

There is a fundamental difference between the United Democratic Party and the People’s United Party. While the UDP stands on principle, the PUP is not known to have any principles to stand on. The PUP is all about doing what is the most convenient thing for their given situation at the time. For them, it is all about party over country, just like they did in the months leading and up to the day of the ICJ Referendum. Such has always been the modus operandi of the PUP.

It was no different back towards late 2001. At that time, Sylvia Flores was the Speaker of the House of Representatives while Elizabeth Zabaneh was the President of the Senate. Sylvia Flores made the decision to venture into electoral politics while she was the Speaker of the House and rather than just walk away from being the arbitrator of any of the two chambers, she and Zabaneh just switched jobs. Zabaneh became Speaker of the House and Flores became President of the Senate. Sylvia Flores shamelessly held on to that position leading right into the 2003 election. Sure, there is no rule that prevents an active politician from chairing any of the two prestigious chambers, but it certainly does not look proper for it to occur.

Fast-forward to Tuesday this week, when following his declaration that he was re-entering into electoral politics, the now former President of the Senate Hon. Lee Mark Chang, made the announcement that he was stepping down from the Presidency of the Senate. As mentioned before, there is no written rule preventing him actively seeking political office and being the President of the Senate, but the optics not look good. The arbitrator of both of these bodies must at all times appear to be neutral.

There is also a section of the Belize Constitution which could be used for the guidance of any such persons. That section is Section 121 of the Belize Constitution. It speaks about persons in such positions putting themselves in a situation where their integrity could be called into question and demeaning their office. The difference between the actions of the UDP and the PUP is as different as night and day. The PUP is all about party over country while we in the UDP are about standing up for principle and being on the side of the people. It is not that we are always right; it is that the PUP is always wrong, so very wrong.