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Oct 5, 2020

P.U.P. Promises to do Everything to Curb Corruption

John Briceño

Corruption in government is one of the big issues that Belizeans are unhappy about, and from all accounts corruption is rampant in rampant in Belmopan.  The outgoing PM has admitted there is corruption in government and several of his ministers have been accused of corrupt acts many times.  In 2004, Prime Minister Dean Barrow famously said that he would chop off the head of corruption with a two-sided machete.  Opposition Leader John Briceño says that Barrow was gravely mistaken and has failed to use the machete when corruption reared its ugly head time and again.  Briceño said today that he intends to stamp out corruption under a P.U.P. government. 

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Well I don’t think the prime minister has ever seen a machete much less held on in his hands. But when it comes to the issue of corruption there are a number of fundamental steps that need to be taken. The first one is that we need to take the work that we have been doing under UNCAC, the United Nation Convention against Corruption. From there come up with we are calling an anti corruption commission and we are looking at way at amending the constitution so that that body can be a part of the constitution and cannot be controlled by the government or the political party in government. We will not have the political party as member of that board of that group, of that commission. We will have them have their own budget so the Ministry of Finance will not control their budget. We want to do the same thing for the Integrity Commission, remove the control from the Government. As it is right now the government has give members on the Integrity Commission. We are going to remove that so that the ruling party will not control it. At the same time have their budget and have it voted on in the National Assembly so that the Ministry of Finance will not control their monies and they can do the work as they see fit. We are looking at the issue of Auditor General Office whereby we want to be able to sit down with Auditor General and make her more independent, have subpoena power, have the monies to be able to go and audit every department in government. These are just some fundamental steps. Of course we have to make the accompanying laws to be able to do that. And also from within ourselves as a government, as leaders in government that we will do everything possible to curb corruption as best as we can. What I can tell you is that we cannot continue to run the government as it has been done under the U.D.P. We cannot continue plundering the treasury.”

 

We will hear more from Briceño in Tuesday’s newscast. PM Barrow was unavailable for comment today.


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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