Belize Progressive Party highlights need for change in governance

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Updated: January 18, 2017

Representatives of the Belize Progressive Party appeared on Love FM’s morning show today. Patrick Rogers of the BPP said changes need to be made, even though it might appear to be difficult.

Patrick Rogers – BPP

“With UNCAC signed, with the CICIB, that needs to be established in Belize and it’s really time for that they say it’s a process that is other things don’t work we should go to that immediately because we see where our commissioner won’t step on the minister when the DPP instructed them to go after Penner, he didn’t go. The appointed people will never go after elected people you see, in so that’s why we’re saying that expecting changes right now is very difficult. You’ve seen the bondholders refuse the offer that Belize mad,e these are indicators that we do not know how to handle our own finances. We embarked on bonds under Ralph Fonseca and we haven’t paid a copper to the principle as yet and we’ve defaulted on interest because next month we have to come up with the interest. Now instead of paying back principal and interest from 2019 to 2038 we were offering to make just three balloon payments in the last three years,  which is crazy, that would have put the debt on the backs of that future government, instead of having each government in their term pay the portion and bring down the principal by what is required of them.”

 

Ernesto Vasquez -Host

“That is the intention isn’t it?”

Patrick Rogers – BPP

“That is what they always do if you look at all the short term borrowing they do. The first payment usually starts four or five years after, which means that I may out of government and that debt will have to be paid by the incoming government.”

 

Last week the BPP issued a release condemning statements made by the Chair of the newly sworn in Integrity Commission. The BPP referred to the Integrity Co0mmission as a farce. Paco Smith explained why they took that position.

 

Paco Smith – BPP

“We at the BPP were very disturbed with regards to what the chair person said in terms of her perspective, that they would not be going back to 2008 in terms of assessing the situation of these elected officials. That is very troubling and what we say to that is why type of confidence can be instilled in the people when in fact the law  says that in terms of the role of the integrity commission, that is one of their roles, yet on individual the chair makes and edict which basically says that they are not going to do that. Basically what it looks like is that the integrity commission is planning to cherry pick the law and from a legal standpoint maybe.

Ernesto Vasquez -Host

“Is that gospel or can the rest of the committee overrule that?

Paco Smith – BPP

“From a legal standpoint she may be legally correct but what we are talking about is the spirit of the law because if the spirit of the law with regards to POCA is intended to make sure that there is transparency in public life think about it, think about it, juxtapose it and when you are talking about the spirit of the law come on, let’s be real.”

The BPP said the Integrity Commission must fulfil its mandate and  not function as a tool through which those culpable of breaking the law are summarily excused from their commitment to the people of Belize.