BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 30, 2017–Following a parliamentary caucus meeting yesterday evening, Leader of the Opposition (People’s United Party), Hon. John Briceño, said that if Prime Minister Dean Barrow cannot convince his Cabinet members to vote in favor of the motion for compliance with the 90-million-dollar CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice) judgment in favor of the Belize Bank, then he should step down.
The PUP, however, have not as yet formulated a united position on the CCJ judgment.
Briceño explained to reporters, “What we did today as a caucus, we met to discuss the issue in front of us, the matter of the 90-million-dollar judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice, and we’re not at the point of making a decision as to whether it is going to be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ or whatever. We want to be able to get the facts, for us to get a proper understanding as to what has been taking place under the Barrow administration.
“What we know for a fact is that the Barrow administration has been litigating from day one and every case he has taken up he has lost, and it has cost this country millions and millions of dollars.”
Briceño was asked for his reaction to the Barrow administration’s position on the CCJ judgment, that it may not pay the judgment debt.
“My initial reaction would be that if the CCJ is compelling the Prime Minister, as the Minister of Finance, to ensure that this 90 million dollars is being paid, and now the Prime Minister is saying that he doesn’t think that he can convince his Cabinet to live up to the judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice, then it simply means that the Prime Minister has lost control of his Cabinet, and once a Prime Minister loses control of his Cabinet, then it’s time for him to go. So, probably the Prime Minister should seriously consider whether it’s time for him to step down as the Prime Minister of this country.”
Briceño was also asked if he would allow his parliamentarians to vote based on their conscience, as the Prime Minister indicated his ministers would be allowed to do.
“Well, that is a cop out. That’s the coward’s way, because we are in this situation today because Prime Minister Barrow, because of his spitefulness, his vindictiveness and his bad-mindedness, decided that he was going to undo a settlement,” Briceño responded.