Earlier this month, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) condemned the Government of Belize for failing to resolve the decade old UHS debt saga on Friday, August 31st in Parliament. The opposition did not get off the hook since BCCI felt that they were also to blame. It described what transpired in parliament on August 31st as “ugly political drama”.The UDP administration voted no while the Opposition abstained by walking out. The Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno said it was pointless to vote on a bill that the government was going to vote against.
John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “We were disappointed that it took the chamber ten years to realize how the government has been behaving in the house. From the time that the government was elected, the UDP has been in office, they have been misbehaving they have turned the house into a circus. We made it abundantly clear, how can we go to the house to vote on a bill that the government is introducing and they have said that they are going to vote against it? Why are we going to go through the charade? We went in, we made our point, we pointed out that despite the fact that maybe it was not as transparent as people would have wished the UHS was settled. In 2008 when Dean Barrow and the UDP got into government that debt was at zero. He maliciously decided that he is going to break an agreement that was legally done and took back that twenty million dollar. They went to the Privy Council the Privy Council immediately that was a legal agreement. They went all the way to the CCJ and all this time Mr.Barrow knew that it was a legal agreement and it would have to be paid sooner or later. If you remember in the house he never said about never paying he said someday it will have to be paid but he is trying to continue to play politics over the UHS and I explained to the chamber we are not going to play politics with Dean Barrow over this issue.”
The BCCI stated that the nation’s highest court has ruled that the debt is lawful, and it is Parliament’s responsibility to uphold the rule of law whether or not we are pleased with the decision.