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Nov 8, 2019

Gapi Still Reaping Ministerial Benefits Two Years After Resigning

Gaspar Vega

Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega continues to enjoy all allowances made available to him by the Government of Belize, despite no longer being assigned a portfolio.  Since he was stripped of his ministerial responsibilities, amid a land scandal involving his son back in 2016, Vega maintains twenty-four hour police presence at his Clark Street address in Orange Walk Town.  That round-the-clock security measure is reserved for the prime minister and his deputy, a post Vega has held twice since 2008.  News Five understands that as many as four officers, each on rotation, are stationed at the residence.  Likewise, it is said that the former Deputy Prime Minister still receives a stipend for telephone usage, as well as other benefits.  Of note is that while Vega has been noticeably absent from all house meetings dating back to 2017, Standing Order Eighty-four states that action can only be taken against a parliamentarian should that individual miss a total of six consecutive meetings within a three month period.  Thus far, there have never been six back-to-back house meetings within that interval, and as such Vega remains in compliance with the rules of the House. Still, is collecting salary and other allowances that add up to a pretty package.  As for his chances of running for office for a fourth term in Orange Walk North, there’s still no certainty on his political ambitions going forward, suffice to say that he has expressed an interest in becoming active in that constituency once again.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Area Representative, Pickstock Division [File: Sept. 17th, 2019]

“Actually I have met him, he had stopped in one afternoon at the building where I am at St. Mark Street and he spoke to me very briefly and if I can recall what he said was that he was proposing to become much more politically active.  Which I thought was a good thing.  He’s a young man, he has a lot of competence and he spends a lot of time with those people.  He wants to assist, he wants to continue to assist the nation and so I thought it was a good gesture on his part.  We all have an obligation to try to keep this Jewel pristine and safe.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“But did you get the sense from him that he would be offering himself for candidacy once again?”

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

“We didn’t speak long enough.  He told me he would be coming or going to become active in the constituency and the like, but the specific question as to whether he himself was putting himself forward we didn’t reach that extent.”

 

Reporter

“It is notable to me that he intentionally stopped in to visit you though, because in the past he’s been deputy leader of the party, perhaps he’s trying to pitch in for leader now that Dean Barrow is leaving…”

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

“I don’t know, he didn’t make any pitch to me for support for leadership but he and I have always been cordial.”


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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