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Sep 20, 2018

Leader of Opposition Disappointed with the Chamber

John Briceño

Leader of the Opposition John Briceño says he is disappointed with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Briceño’s comments come after the B.C.C.I. fired off a release eight days ago, condemning the ‘childish’ and ‘petulant’ behavior exhibited in the House of Representatives on August thirty first. On that day the government debated the Appropriation Bill to pay a ninety-five million-dollar compensation award for the Universal Health Services debt. After a heated back and forth between parliamentarians of both sides of the House, the P.U.P. stormed out of the House before the vote, while the U.D.P. voted the bill down. The Chamber condemned what it called ugly political drama, stating that parliamentarians convened with no clear intent to constructively resolve the decade-old U.H.S. debt saga.  The B.C.C.I. further stated that neither side appeared to have the will or the desire to set petty partisanship aside, and to find a constructive solution to the problem. The P.U.P. rebutted, saying that it is dismayed at the gullibility of the Chamber in failing to recognize the obvious political ploy by the U.D.P.   Here’s what Briceño had to say.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We were disappointed that it took the Chamber ten years to realize how the government has been behaving in the house. From the time that the government was elected, the U.D.P. has been in office they have been misbehaving. They have been turned the House into a circus. We made it abundantly clear. How can we go to the House to vote on a bill that the Government is introducing and they have said that they will vote against it? Why will we go through a charade? We went in. We made our point. We pointed out that despite the fact that it was not as transparent as people would have wished, the U.H.S. was settled. In 2008 when Dean Barrow and the U.D.P. got into government, that depth was at zero. He maliciously decided that he is going to break an agreement that was legally done and took back those twenty million dollars. They went to the Privy Council and the Privy Council told them that was a legal agreement. They went all the way to the C.C.J. All this time, Mr. Barrow knew that it was a legal agreement and that it will have to be paid sooner or later. If you remember in the House, he never said about never paying. He said that someday it will have to be paid but he is trying to continue to play politics over the U.H.S. I explained to the Chamber, we are not going to play politics with Dean Barrow over this issue.”

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