PUP Will Boycott Final Public Consultation On The Ninth

And while all major party functionaries are expected at the meeting - one meeting the PUP's Cayo Caucus will boycott is tomorrow's public consultation on the ninth amendment in Belmopan.

It's being held at the Civic Center - and is the final consultation. If form holds, you can expect the UDP to bring out major numbers. But the PUP say they aren't playing that game this time.

Head of the Cayo Caucus and aspirant for the Cayo South seat Julius Espat told us that they are boycotting with a purpose:..

Julius Espat
"Initially it was portrayed as a consultation and as it evolved it ended up being a circus and we think that it's undermining the democratic process and we don't want to participate anymore. This comes in my case from Cayo south, we have been on the ground and people are telling us that they don't believe in it they don't even look at it and they don't even analyze it. So why continue with it, so that is one of the major reasons why we have decided to not continue with that specific process of what they called consultation."

"What we have been doing is we have been consulting really on the ground, in Cayo south we have been going with a petition for a referendum when it pertains to the nine and we have garnered over 1600 signatures up to now and that is real consultation the people have a voice, and that is what I am saying that it is not about putting up there numbers 35 to 1, 350 to 20 it has nothing to do with that, it is a show and we are not part of a show, we are part of reality."

Jules Vasquez
"However at the same time if politics is the game it about numbers and certainly the PUP were happy to play it when they out match the UDP in Belize City, they out match the UDP in Orange Walk but now after Punta Gorda, Dangriga and San Ignacio it can be argued well you can no longer out matched them or afford to out match them so you are throwing in the towel on a game you can't win."

Julius Espat
"No, you are saying it's a matter of numbers right? But I am telling you Cayo South alone has 1600 signatures, you can add up all the numbers that they have put on the television screen and they will not add up to 1600 signatures alone from one constituency. Now add 31 constituencies to that and it's blown away, so if it's numbers we are talking about then we are far ahead of the game."

Jules Vasquez
"Is this a reaction to last Wednesday's event in San Ignacio when the PUP were badly out match numerically?"

Julius Espat
"Badly out match depends on how the arena played, if you are in a ring and it's a fair encounter then if you lose then you are badly out matched. If you don't get an opportunity to get in the ring then there is no match at all, so then this is no contest, so I don't see the relevance in that one."

Jules Vasquez
"Ok now, so what will you all do with these 1600 signatures?"

Julius Espat
"Well this becomes a part off all the constituencies, added up together we need to get to 18,000 to be able to start the referendum process."

Jules Vasquez
"Is there a national movement towards accumulating these signatures accruing?"

Julius Espat
"Yes"

Jules Vasquez
"Ok, and you all are needing 18,000?"

Julius Espat
"We have at present about 15,000, so I would say by the end of the week we should be covering it up."

While we don't know that names on a petition are much better than yes's or no's at a public consultation, Espat says he expects the PUP to get enough numbers to trigger a referendum - but concedes that by then the ninth may have already been passed.

Channel 7