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Feb 10, 2023

Concerns Over Ministerial Discretion in Senate

Michael Peyrefitte

The Government of Belize is also seeking to establish a Financial Service Commission with authority to regulate and supervise the financial services industry in Belize. These steps become necessary in light of international regulations that require nations to maintain anti-terrorism and money laundering systems that meet international standards. According to the Leader for Government Business, Eamon Courtenay, the persons appointed to this commission will have the highest qualifications in the sector. But does the bill, as it is currently drafted, give the minister responsible for finance undue influence over the commission? Senators debated the matter, and in the end, it was agreed that the bill would be held in committee for further deliberation.


Michael Peyrefitte, Opposition Senator

“I am sure I have read, Plan Belize. Within that Plan Belize of the BLU PUP, the “e” for empathy cause it’s just now BLU. Deh tek off that “e”. You have now that plan saying to the Belizean People before getting elected, that they wouldn’t engage in passing legislation that reduces, minimizes or as far as in certain cases eliminate ministerial discretion and power. This government is to be elected on the basis that they would reduce ministerial power. This legislation does the opposite. It puts ministerial power on steroids.”


Elena Smith

Elena Smith, N.T.U.C.B. Senator

“We have raised this matter time and time again for these important, independent bodies, that we should not be seeing these matters being dependent on the minister. The minister may on the advice of. When we look at the point that senator Herrera rose in terms of the appeals. Yu want for persons to at least believe that the body I am appealing to is an independent body without those sorts of influence.”


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Senator for Government Business

“Senator Peyrefitte took strong objection to the appointment for the director General of the Financial Service Commission, by the Commission with the approval of the minister. I don’t want to get into a legal debate with him because we all know who would win. The power to appoint rest with the commission. The approval is from the minister. All I will say to the honorable senate is in looking at this we must ask the question, who should appointment. If it is to be amended who should appoint? Honorable senator didn’t proffer any proposals.”


The bill was passed by the Senate.

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