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Jan 5, 2018

Settlement Offer Open, but P.U.P. Says It’s U.D.P.’s Fault

John Briceño

But Opposition Leader John Briceño appears unconvinced by any of it. Following the House meeting he told reporters that none of the Prime Minister’s arguments or those of the attorneys the government has paid over the years have succeeded where it counts; indeed, the only success has been to increase the debt burden. He also points out that no matter how distasteful, the matter should have been left where it was in 2008, where he argues that the money was available and the matter sufficiently settled. And so while the P.U.P. does not appear to have a unitary position on the matter, it does offer something of an olive branch for when the vote comes, a possible way out of the mess.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“No matter how you look about it, no matter how you felt about U.H.S., the point is that it was settled, irrespective it was done nicely or neatly or cleanly or not, it was settled. Now the Prime Minister in his usual arrogance and his hubris and his spitefulness, decided that he is going to break that agreement. Nobody is trying to say that the U.H.S. was a matter that was black and white, it was properly done. What was said though is the courts, the Caribbean Court of Justice, ruled that the Prime Minister had the authority to sign the loan note, that’s all it is saying, and in our mind it was settled. Now because of the Prime Minister’s arrogance, now we are saddled with ninety million dollars. One, Barrow needs to take responsibility for this fiasco; and secondly, the Belizean people need to stop the Prime Minister from taking us for fools, because that is what he has done since 2008. We are awaiting for the Bill, we finally got a copy of the Bill, we are going to study the Bill and we are going to continue the discussion as to the way forward. One thing I can tell you, we are not going to be obstructionist; we are going to find a way; we are going to come with some ideas and some recommendations to the Prime Minister in an effort to find a settlement that can be a benefit to the Belizean people.”

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