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May 24, 2019

AG Peyrefitte Weighs in on BPM’s Renewed Legal Challenge

Michael Peyrefitte

The Belize Peace Movement has decided, following a national planning meeting, to take up a legal challenge commenced by the People’s United Party which it has abandoned following the outcome of the May eighth I.C.J. referendum.  The BPM plans to keep the lawsuit alive in the Supreme Court, however, it is leaning on the Belizean public, as well as those in the Diaspora, to fund its legal expenses.  It’s an interesting predicament since a majority of Belizeans voted overwhelmingly in favor of taking the territorial dispute with Guatemala to the world court.  In a release on Thursday, the BPM says, “it stands firm in its conviction that the Special Agreement is null and void since it tramples upon the Belize Constitution.  Therefore, to allow the matter to proceed in such clear violation of the constitution would be a great disservice to our country, and the BPM cannot sit by and allow this to happen.” Here’s how AG Peyrefitte responded to the idea of crowd funding the renew challenge.

 

Isani Cayetano

“While the People’s United Party has formally withdrawn its claim and its case regarding the validity of the Special Agreement before the Supreme Court, the Belize Peace Movement is opting to take on that mantle and it is seeking crowd funding, essentially, to be able to pay for it and to proceed with the challenge.  As the AG, your response?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Crowd funding?  They’re seeking crowd funding for what, to fund their case?  Well everyone has a right to go to court.  The courts are wide open and they have the original jurisdiction, but the Belize Peace Movement, I would say, I mean they would need to seriously reconsider.  I mean when you talk about crowd funding, the way I know crowd funding normally works is you go to the public to raise money to fund your cause.  The people have said that they want to go to court; the majority of Belizeans have said that they want the matter to go to the I.C.J.  So why, how would you raise money from those people to say then that you don’t want to go to court anymore?  I think everybody, everybody, the People’s United Party and it’s very difficult to say good things about them sometime, but the People’s United Party must be commended.  They fought this thing, they went to the court, they got an injunction and they were prepared to fight this thing all the way.  When they saw the voice of the people represented in the ‘yes’ vote they backed off.  They were mature enough to say, “Listen, the people have spoken.  The people want to go to the I.C.J., who are we to tell the people that we are going to fight them to not go when it is their desire to go?”  I think the Belize Peace Movement, whoever they are, they need to accept that the people have spoken and I think if the People’s United Party can do that and I am sure the People’s United Party has far more support than the Belize Peace Movement, I think if the P.U.P. can back down and step aside and work with the U.D.P., I think the Belize Peace Movement should do the same.”


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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