On Tuesday April 6, in the middle of a financial crisis, the new fiscal year having already begun, but no budget even read yet, let alone debated or passed into law, Prime Minister John Briceño literally ran away from the media.
How different things were when the UDP was in Office with the Right Honorable Dean Barrow as Prime Minister. Whenever the nation was faced with any difficult situation, even in anticipation, Mr Barrow would address the nation openly, share all the pertinent information with the people and answer all questions from the media.
Today, while the nation is in crisis, John Briceño remains utterly silent and continues to dodge the media. In fact, since his government took office almost 5 months ago, Briceño is yet to host a real Prime Ministerial Press Conference. The only press conference at which he appeared, after much pressure from the public, was one hosted by the Ministry of Health specifically to deal with matters relating to COVID-19.
And, while the Prime Minister dodges the media, his office issues a gag order on public officers, threatening to punish them for disclosing information about the operations of Government, which is presumably the people’s business.
By contrast, the Opposition UDP Leader, Honorable Patrick Faber, has been totally accessible to the media, hosting press conferences, delivering position statements on issues of national importance and answering all questions from the media.
The difference is clear – the UDP is always about open and transparent government, while the PUP, particularly under this Prime Minister, is constantly hiding the truth from the people and the nation. They preach good governance but practice the exact opposite.