March seventh marks one year since general elections returned the incumbent United Democratic Party to office. Today the Opposition, People’s United Party, help a press conference at party headquarters Independence Hall to offer a report card on the government and very pointedly, on the performance of Prime Minister Dean Barrow for the period 2008 – 2013. According to the opposition, the government is failing miserably in some, but they rated the government with top marks in other areas. And even with the next general elections likely four years in the future, the P.U.P. presented a sample of its priority agenda as government.
Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Deputy Leader, P.U.P.
“Higher taxes, A; corruption, A-plus; arrogance, A; nepotism, A-plus; cost of living, F; fighting crime, F; job creation, F; land distribution, F; rule of law, F; healthcare, F; education, F; economic growth, F; agriculture, F.”
Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition
“This, my friends is Belize in 2013—a failing state under a failed U.D.P. administration. A country in crisis under a corrupt visions-less government with no plan to create jobs, attract investment and grow the economy. No clear plan to address the scourge of crime and to reform our health and education systems. Ladies and gentlemen, Belize’s failure after five years of U.D.P. government is rooted in one man, Dean Barrow.”
“We will move quickly to stimulate business especially for small entrepreneurs and bring about a growth in the economy that everyone can benefit from. We will increase enrollment in the institutes for vocational and technical training and education. And we will target relevant education and skills training for young people and women and men all across our country. Most importantly, we will restore decency in government and respect for the judicial system. We will also give immediate attention—and I am sure that colleagues this afternoon will agree—we will give immediate attention to infrastructure, roads, streets, drains, water and electricity and other basic needs of the people and of communities most in need; especially in the rural areas. And of course ladies and gentlemen, to conclude before we call off the whole of the report card, we will stop the nastiness and the meanness, the misbehavior and the impunity with which ministers and ministers of state act.”
According to Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, today’s event signals the resolve of his party to take the fight against the government to another level.