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Mar 25, 2015

G.O.B. Wants Access to Petrocaribe Without Oversight

There is a lot of political news tonight. We’ll come to that shortly, but we start with a rather unprecedented proposed new law. This Thursday, Belize’s Parliamentarians go to the House to debate the 2015-2016 Budget. But even before that gets underway, News Five has gotten wind of a bill which Government intends to pass and it’s a doozy. It’s an Act to make special provisions for borrowing money from Alba Petrocaribe Limited, and states that, “Notwithstanding anything contained in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, or any other law to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Government of Belize to borrow money from ALBA Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited in any amounts without the prior authorisation of the National Assembly.” The proposed bill goes on to state, “No limitations shall apply to the use of the money borrowed from APBEL and it may be used to finance capital projects as well as to provide social and community assistance to the poor and the socially marginalised, and any other legitimate purpose as the Government may consider fit.” Late this evening, News Five got a comment from P.U.P. Deputy Leader Julius Espat, who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. And to say that the Opposition is not happy is quite an understatement.

 

Julius Espat

Via Phone: Julius Espat, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“It’s a sad day Mike. Tomorrow will be a sad day. Are we Belizeans willing to accept this because this is the start of the end in my opinion? The Prime Minister, I believe, has gone mad. He has now bestowed on himself superpowers that nobody can challenge. What he is doing here is totally…he is putting this money, two hundred and odd million dollars, out of the oversight of any and everybody. No accountability, no transparency…he can basically write a check for one hundred and odd million dollars to himself and his family and it would be fine under this new law that he is passing. It is extremely dangerous for this country. It is one of the worst laws I have seen proposed.”

 

Reporter

“Deputy is there anything that the Opposition can do about this proposal which is on the table?”

 

Via Phone: Julius Espat

“Legally or in Parliament all we can do is to object and debate against it. But more than that, I don’t see anything else that can be done. You have to understand that I might be wring…I will analyze this later with some of our attorneys, but this…it seems to be going against the spirit of our constitution. It undermines democracy. It is the initial stages…it is defining dictatorship if you cannot…and it is because the people of Belize are giving him this opportunity to do it, and I think the Belizean people are not understanding the severity of what is about to happen tomorrow. And we as politicians and you as the media…it is our responsibility to inform them of the severity of this proposal.”

 

According to Clerk of the National Assembly Eddie Webster, GOB plans to ram the Bill through all its stages on Thursday.

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5 Responses for “G.O.B. Wants Access to Petrocaribe Without Oversight”

  1. Ali BaBarrow says:

    Every thief”s Dream!
    Pay raises for the forty!

  2. Tekkit says:

    This is dangerous, Barrow legislate the lower court can over rule the higher court now he is legislating the National Asssembly out of his way. Only Cabinet will rule.

  3. rasmanindio says:

    We do not have in Belize or the Caribbean Commonwealth for that matter Parlaimentary Supremacy, we have Constitutional Supremacy. The only rational conclusion that can be reached as to why the PUP just want to sit by and watch as our resource gets legal stolen maybe best captured in Dean Barrow’s proverbial remark of “It is now our turn” While the all the arms of the State are in collusion, we have the CCJ at least to give some impartiality.

  4. orangewalkenio says:

    Come on Mr. Barrow, now you for sure know this is dangerous. You are securing your money pot for next general elections. Too bad the opposition is as crooked as this to be able to stand up against it.

  5. aldo says:

    Nothing is more dangerous than having a PUP government with Julius in charge. And that is an understatement!!!

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