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Oct 16, 2013

Dickie Bradley says a minister of state cannot be a member of Cabinet

Dickie Bradley

Bradley also pointed out that Penner could not be removed from Cabinet because he is a minister of state and could only attend cabinet sittings by invitation. Bradley turned to section forty-four of the constitution to back up his argument.


Dickie Bradley, Attorney

“There shall be cabinet of ministers for Belize which shall consist of the P.M. and the other ministers. It says provided that a minister of state appointed under section forty-five shall not be a member of cabinet. So you see, Penner can’t be a minister of state and be signing documents because he is not even in the cabinet. He can be invited to come to meetings, but he is not a member of cabinet. Look how bad it is under subsection two. The cabinet shall be the principal executive instrument of policy; they have the general direction and control of the government and they are collectively responsible to the national assembly for any advice given to the Governor General by or under any authority of the cabinet. And listen to the other one now, and for all things done by or under the authority of any minister in the execution of the office…meaning cabinet responsible for what Penner gone and do. That is what the constitution do. Being a cabinet of ministers is a very, very serious matter. You can’t have ministers running off in a frolic; doing all kinds of irregularities; getting themselves engaged in matters. The last sentence is saying to you that they are collectively responsible by all things done by or under the authority of any minister in the execution of ih duties. They are responsible. Just kicking out Penner by itself is not the be all and the end all. There is a widespread call for a criminal investigation because people feel that Minister Penner didn’t just want to help an friend and just hurry get a passport. They believe strongly that monies are involved. We have a deputy mayor that can’t come back ina ih own country yet because he is monitoring from aboard to see what is going on because this thing could go the other way. The prime minister can decide that he is not going to fight the union, the churches, the private sector, the social partners; unu want wah investigation, unu wah get wah investigation. As Marleni pointed out, there can’t be a criminal investigation anymore because we have already been told that the nationality certificate file is missing and that to our shock we heard at the press conference that the passport still deh dah Taiwan…nobody noh even look at the passport. But there are other things in there that can help; there must be some record of the movement of files and so on. So let me just raise this point, an it is an opinion. Mister Penner has done something wrong, very wrong. He has been put out of the cabinet. We are not even sure if they have even goen through the process of getting the Governor General to sign the instrument and so on because he was not properly appointed in any event so how can the governor general be taking away your portfolio when you were never given one. So Penner is put out, there is widespread call for an independent investigation and also a criminal investigation. Police Commissioner has been honest enough to tell this nation that I ain’t looking into a Penner matter; nobody noh tell me to do that. Can other ministers of government go down to Cayo and say we are fighting to keep this man in his office. He is going to remain honorable Elvin Penner in the honorable House of Representatives?”

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