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May 20, 2019

P.U.P. Formally Withdraws Legal Challenge of Special Agreement

John Briceño

Opposition Leader John Briceño, the only member of the People’s United Party to address the amendment in the house today, spoke on the P.U.P.’s willingness to work with the Barrow administration on behalf of the country.  Aside from calling for transparency and accountability, Briceño also supports the allocation of financial resources to cover all expenses related to the I.C.J. litigation.  While speaking on the way forward, Briceño likewise took the opportunity to inform the nation that his party has since decided to withdraw the pending lawsuit from the Supreme Court where several claimants from the P.U.P. were challenging the validity of the Special Agreement signed in 2008.


John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Mr. Speaker, the Belizean people expect the P.U.P. to work with the government and we will do so with the understanding that there will always be full and frank disclosure and transparency throughout the process and I thank the Prime Minister for his commitment to do so.  And so today, I am asking everyone in this honorable house and all our senators to put on record their support for the government to bring to parliament a supplementary budget to cover legal and related costs for the case.  I request this, Mr. Speaker, because the team that is leading this process on behalf of the Belizean people must have all resources required.  Recall [that] both sides of the House believe that this unfounded Guatemalan claim is an existential one.  We’re also calling for regular reports to the National Assembly regarding any developments in the case.  I wish to use the opportunity of today’s sitting to announce that after discussions with my colleagues on this side, and after consulting with our attorneys, we believe that in the spirit of bipartisanship that we should no longer proceed with the claim before the courts.  While we remain convinced that our claim was just, we believe all our efforts must now be geared towards winning at the I.C.J. for win we must.  It is not the U.D.P. or the P.U.P. that is going to the I.C.J., it is Belize, all of us, and we on this side will always fight to protect every single, square centimeter.  Mr. Speaker, we support the amendments to the Maritime Areas Bill.  Thank you very much.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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