The PUP leader Hon Francis Fonseca and Hon Julius Espat were guests on Tuesday morning’s Rise and Shine Show. The PUP leaders along with the hosts of the show discussed current pressing national issues. One such issue is the Immigration scandal. PUP leader explains what actions his party has taken as it pertains to this issue.
Hon. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition
“Ever since this scandal broke involving Minister Penner, the Representative for that Area, the People’s United Party has been on the ground in Cayo Northeast, engaging with the residents of that division, and the voters in that division. And overwhelmingly, their response has been, we have lost trust and confidence in Mr. Penner. They are the ones who have said, can we initiate this recall process? If you do not resign, then in fact, the People’s United Party will join with the people of Cayo Northeast, because this initiative has to come from them. We will join with them, we will work with them, we will lead them through this recall process”.
As it was publicly known, last week the PUP issued a press release in which they asked for Elvin Penner’s resignation no later than 5:00 pm on October 7th. That was yesterday. That date has come and gone but nothing has been heard in regards to Penner’s resignation. According to Francis Fonseca, he believes Mr Penner wants to resign, but because this issue has evolved into a political form of self-preservation, the UDP government has intervened, which is what Mr Fonseca says they had expected.
Hon. Francis Fonseca
“We were hoping that Penner would see the light and that he would do the right thing, but we expected that the party would become involved, and we did not wait for that, and our leaders on the west, the Deputy and also the chairman of the Western Caucus, Hon. Mahmud, and of course, Landy Habet, our Standard bearer in the Cayo Northeast have been on the ground… as well as many other people who make up the Western Caucus, have been very active on the ground organizing and getting ready for the recall process to be carried forward”.
Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat was on the ground this weekend lending his support to the standard bearer of Cayo North East, and other representatives that were coordinating the referendum for Elvin Penner’s recall
Hon. Julius Espat- Deputy Leader of the Opposition
“1,200 registered voters have signed on already. Our goal is far more than that. This weekend was a test for us; it’s not the beginning and the end. It was just the initial stages of convincing people. You have to understand that Northeast is not in the center of media. It is a combination of an urban setting with a rural setting. And therefore, it is also important to inform. And some of the people are not even aware of what is really happening. So, we are going also through that process”.
Julius Espat also spoke about the supposedly aggressive approach which the UDP has taken against this referendum.
Hon. Julius Espat
“The sad thing about it is that the United Democratic Party has taken this to a different level. They have now been aggressive on the ground as if it is a campaign. They have had banners all over San Ignacio stating that ‘Don’t recall, don’t recall…they have started their intimidation tactics over the weekend. You had Hon. Vega, Hon. Saldivar, all the…
Mr. Louis Wade: “So, the Deputy Prime Minister was on the ground in Cayo”…
Hon. Julius Espat: “Yes…he was ton ton! So, that gives you and indication of how things will be oiled a little bit more on that side. The beauty of it is that the people of Cayo have realized that, money or no money, they want to see the system work; and that’s what we are telling the people of Belize. We can’t guarantee that there will be a recall. We are there to test a law and test a system”.