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Aug 29, 2018

What Will be the P.U.P.’s Vote for Friday’s U.H.S. Bill?

In two days, parliamentarians will be asked whether or not the Government of Belize should use monies from the consolidated revenue fund to pay the ninety-plus million dollar Universal Health Services debt owed to the Belize Bank Limited.  An appropriation bill will be brought back to the House and reports are that a vote will be taken on whether or not to shell out the money to settle the debt.  In order for the multi-million-dollar debt to be paid, the House of Representatives must first approve the passage of the Bill. The Bill was first tabled in January of this year, after the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a decision, overruling the judgments passed by Belize’s Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in November of 2017.  But the Barrow administration has rejected all forms of collection and the Bank commenced a string of legal battles both at home and abroad. In June 2018, the Bank went back to the CCJ for enforcement of the order, but the court ruled it would not immediately force the government to pay, but rather wait for a parliamentary decision. In order to protect its asset, G.O.B. passed two bills; the Central Bank of Belize Immunities Act, making it illegal for any person or group to attach any assets of the Central Bank in court proceedings, and the Amended Crowns Proceeding Act, which now says that any person who seeks to enforce any foreign judgment commits an offence and may be fined or be jailed.  Today, the P.U.P. held its parliamentarian caucus meeting to form a position on the matter but according to Opposition Leader, the P.U.P.’s position will be revealed after the Government makes its presentation.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“On Friday then we will be revealing our position because we do not know what position they are going to take. We don’t know if they are going to say if they will vote for it or against it. We have to give the government an opportunity for them to present the case and then we are going to respond accordingly on Friday.”

 

Reporter

“So you do not have a unified position? “

 

John Briceño

“I did not say anything about any position. I am just saying that we have had a frank discussion of the UHS, all what has happened, once we reviewed it once again but we want to give the government an opportunity for them to make their presentation then for us then to reveal what is going to be the position of the party.”

 

Reporter

“I imagine that you have h ad preparation and time though because a large number of their area reps. have said that they will vote no to pay.”

 

John Briceño

“Well then we will wait to hear them to say that in the House and then we will respond accordingly.”

 

Reporter

“Are you saying you have options based on how they vote?”

 

John Briceño

“I am saying that we are going to give the government an opportunity to make their presentation to us and based on that presentation then we are going to make our position known.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“So the P.U.P. will react to the U.D.P.’s position on Friday?”

 

John Briceño

“It is not a matter of reacting. It is a matter of hearing them out and then we are going to debate the ninety five million dollars appropriation bill that will be presented in front of the House. But you need to ask your question. If the Prime Minister is taking a bill to the House that his own people are going to vote down then he needs to resign because it means that he has lost control of his cabinet and his government.”

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1 Response for “What Will be the P.U.P.’s Vote for Friday’s U.H.S. Bill?”

  1. Al says:

    No. It means that ministers are finally voting with their brain instead of strictly party. Which is what we “normal” Belizeans would like to see more of.

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