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Apr 30, 2007

…but ACB to challenge its legality

Story PictureAnd while the People’s United Party circles the wagons to defend the decision of Prime Minister Said Musa to grant an open guarantee to U.H.S., on Wednesday the legality of the liability will be challenged in court. According to the Association of Concerned Belizeans, on Wednesday they plan to file suit in the Supreme Court to stop any payment that would be made under the terms of the loan agreement between the Belize Bank and the Government of Belize. This afternoon, President of A.C.B. David Vasquez told News Five that the association’s mandate is to protect the public’s interest when Belmopan falls short.

David Vasquez, President, A.C.B.
“We looked at the crux of the matter and we found out that you know what Government was basically giving away thirty-three million dollars, not say giving away but giving a guarantee for a private entity, putting our assets, the Belizean assets on the line basically to satisfy a debt that it didn’t have to care of.”

Janelle Chanona
“And the legal action would be to make sure that money isn’t paid from public purse?”

David Vasquez
“That is our plan. This thing, we feel, has gone too far in the sense that government has put itself in the line. Part of A.C.B.’s mandate is to challenge the government wherever we see it necessary in terms of any forum on any issue that we feel is questionable and this is what we are doing, we are exercising that right. We are hoping that the end result of this whole motion is to quash any action based on that guarantee on the grounds that the guarantee for facts of the matter, I wouldn’t want to use the word illegal but it is improper.”

Attorney Lois Young Barrow is scheduled to file the A.C.B. motion on Wednesday morning with the Supreme Court. In related news, this afternoon the Society for the Promotion of Education Advocacy and Research (SPEAR) issued press release condemning the actions of the Musa administration regarding the U.H.S. guarantee. SPEAR says “the reckless signing of an open ended guarantee” is yet another “gross and consistent violation of Good Governance Practices”…and a “horrendous act of deception” as “there was apparently deliberate failure to disclose the matter to cabinet”. The release ends with a call for the Prime Minister to “bring this crisis to a final and positive resolution by going to the House of Representatives for a vote on the loan guarantee”.

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