Amid the ongoing debacle is the very real possibility that a recall mechanism, enshrined in the constitution, will be triggered by the opposition. The government of the day maintains control of the House of Representatives by a hairsbreadth. That seventeen-fourteen majority can be gravely affected if the constituents of Cayo Northeast collectively decide that after invoking a recall and participating in a subsequent bye-election that they would then elect a P.U.P. area representative. After all, Penner won that division by a mere seventeen votes over Orlando Habet. Despite the likelihood of a mid-term election, Prime Minister Barrow says he is not concerned about the recall mechanism. What transpires once the recall has been triggered is his primary focus.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“For there to be a recall thirty percent of the constituency would have to sign a petition invoking the recall mechanism. Once that has been certified there is a recall, a recall referendum if you want to call it that. In that recall referendum a certain threshold must be met, I’m not, I can’t recollect whether it’s the sixty percent normal referendum threshold or whether it’s sixty-five percent but a threshold has to be met. So once, let’s say it’s sixty percent, once sixty percent of the voters turn out to cast their votes in that recall referendum then the threshold is met and the fifty-one percent of the sixty percent of the electorate that turns out votes yes to recall the person, that person is recalled. There must then be a bye-election in which that person cannot stand.”
“Does it concern you as a seventeen-fourteen seat government that the opposition would choose to go this route?”
“No it doesn’t concern me. We were the ones, I keep saying, as part of our reform panorama, our reform drive; we were the ones that amended the constitution to provide for a recall mechanism. So, as far as I am concerned, for the opposition to go that route and to seek to trigger the recall mechanism is part and parcel of democracy. So, I’m not going to be concerned about that at all. Now once the mechanism is triggered, if there is the degree of turnout necessary and there is a majority vote in support of the recall then there is a bye-election and fight the bye-election. Look when I moved against honorable Penner all these considerations were present to my mind. I had to know that ultimately my action would result in a recall and a bye-election. I know that the government has a razor-thin majority. The point is that I will not refuse to do my duty because there are political consequences to that duty.”