Minister offers apology over comments made in House meeting

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-07h42m55s81vlcsnap-2013-08-14-07h43m03s179The Hon. Michael Finnegan remains under public scrutiny following comments he made to fellow house member the Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia at Wednesday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, the Minister called into Krem TV’s WUB and offered an apology to members of the house as well as the public. Here is that voice clip courtesy our friends and KREM TV.

 

Hon. Michael Finnegan– Area Representative, Mesopotamia:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-07h44m52s220vlcsnap-2013-08-14-07h56m50s81Having listened to him, and I call you this morning, and listened to what you have to say, I am inclined to accept the unacceptable, and I want to stand and be magnanimous as I have always been to my political area.  If the public feels, and that is the view of the public, that I want too far, then first of all I would like to apologize and say sorry to the public and the citizens of Belize. Things went so far in the National Assembly that the speaker was in no position to control what was happening.  It went too far.  If I disrespected the House that the Speaker’s chair, I want to secondly apologize to the Speaker of the House, and my colleagues on the other side of the House, and my colleagues on my side of the House.  I think that I want to apologize to them also, and bring whatever is happening to an end.  I will give no other interview to no newspaper or no television station.  This medium is where I use to bring this to finality, and I hope that what the Member from Belize Rural Central did and said about “Yellow Man” , that she saw him urinating in the confines of the National Assembly and drinking liquor in the confines of the National Assembly, which I think was totally not true, I hope that she apologizes to “Yellow Man”.

He then issued a press release where he restated his comments on the show.

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-07h43m37s252On Tuesday, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow also loaned her voice to the discussion, saying in short  “As Special Envoy for Women and Children, I regret the incident that occurred in the House of Representatives last week; however I welcome the words of apology offered by Hon. Michael Finnegan this morning.   I call on the Speaker that he will, in the future, be protective of the rights of all members, but especially the rights of the lone female member of the House of Representatives, not to be subjected to offensive language or gestures.” Mrs. Barrow further appealed to members of the House to demonstrate mutual respect toward each other. Meanwhile, PlusNews spoke with the sole female elected city councilor in the capital city. She encouraged women to not be discouraged by what transpired, but to use it as a stepping stone to elevate themselves.

Anna Guy – Belmopan City Councilor:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-08h10m06s231To me it’s disappointing.  I’m the only woman elected to governance by the people of Belmopan in this area. It’s very discouraging, I believe,  to other women, because they see it as a challenge.  It demoralizes them.  It makes them feel like they don’t want to be a part of it.  So to the stronger women out there I just want to say, it’s not something that we can close our ears to, but it’s something that could make us even more vocal.  I don’t know where the courage comes from or the authority for any man to feel that they can disrespect a woman like that.  On a personal note, I empathize with the Hon Dolores Balderamos-Garcia for what she has been going through.  As a woman, I know what it is like to be disrespected by a man.  I have been married for 22 years and I can say that my husband never cursed at me.  However I had a friend recently and we had a misunderstanding, and when he cursed me it really broke my heart, because I felt as if there was no excuse for it.  It doesn’t matter what you feel that person has done to you, I believe we can disagree respectfully.  For the level of disrespect, and the level where it’s coming from, it is really unbecoming and I don’t know where he feels he has the authority to do it, and I believe that the Prime Minister should really look into this as something very serious, so that it doesn’t reoccur in the House or at any level coming from an elected official at all.

This is Guy’s first term in office and she shared on what the experience has been so far for her.

Anna Guy – Belmopan City Councilor:

Serving on the City Council of Belmopan, I have to say that we have a very respectful leader, and he’s the Mayor, and  in any Council Meeting or in any environment where we’re working together, I don’t feel that anyone working under him feels we have the authority to disrespect each other in any way.  So that makes it easier.  I don’t have that stress, thankfully, but I can empathize with others who have, and  I think that’s why I am imploring that it’s so important that from top to bottom the respect is mutual.

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