BELIZE CITY, Wed. Aug. 28, 2019– On Friday, August 16, the House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms (Macebearer), Brian “Yellow Man” Audinette, was openly aggressive in his speech and behavior toward the People’s United Party Dangriga standard bearer and newly designated Senator, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, inside the House of Representatives, which was in session, but had taken a brief recess.
Additionally, when the session of the House resumed, from his seat, Sergeant at Arms Audinette was videotaped making certain gestures at Dr. Zabaneh, who was in the public gallery of the House. During the initial contact, Audinette had accused Zabaneh’s family of being land thieves.
What Audinette did not know, however, was that as the member of the House of Representatives with responsibility to ensure that order is kept, he was behaving in a disorderly manner and had brought the integrity of his high office into disrepute. Not only that, but visitors to the honorable House of Representatives, including Dr. Zabaneh, go there with a reasonable expectation that they are in the safety of the people’s House, where nothing untoward should befall them.
Audinette’s behavior has triggered a response from the Opposition People’s United Party, which issued a press release yesterday calling on the Speaker of the House, Hon. Laura Longsworth, to sanction Audinette’s behavior.
“The People’s United Party (PUP) condemns, in no uncertain terms, the behavior of UDP thug Brian ‘Yellowman’ Audinette. We call on the House Committee, with responsibility for discipline, to apply the appropriate sanction on Audinette, the Macebearer of the House of Representatives, for his actions inside the National Assembly on Friday, August 16, 2019,” the PUP said in its press release yesterday, Tuesday.
The PUP release went on to say, “On that day Audinette, with absolutely no provocation, insulted and threatened the distinguished Dr. Louis Zabaneh, PUP standard bearer and soon-to-be Senator and Member of Parliament. Dr. Zabaneh reported Audinette’s actions to police but not surprisingly, no action has been taken by authorities.”
The release ended by saying that Audinette has been called before the UDP House Committee to answer for his actions.
“We expect no real reprimand from those UDP members who have, in the past, encouraged thuggish behavior in the House. We do, however, call on House Speaker Laura Longsworth to do the right thing and sanction the Macebearer who will be before her for a second time, accused of outrageous behavior not fitting the dignity of his post. If Audinette is not reprimanded appropriately, it will cement the impression held by the people of Belize that the House is a joke and that our leaders encourage this unbecoming behavior,” the PUP said in the concluding statements of the release.
Some political observers are of the view that Audinette was following instructions when he launched the unprovoked attack on Dr. Zabaneh.
The important post of Sergeant of Arms, however, should obviously be held by someone of good repute and dignity.