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Belize’s Governor-General Resigns

Governor-General Sir Colville Young has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister John Briceno. In a letter dated April 6, Sir Colville wrote, quote, “in keeping with the request you made on March 15, 2021, I hereby tender my resignation as Governor-General of Belize effective 30th April, 2021. It has been some weeks now since we reported on the meeting between the Governor General, his family members and the Prime Minister.  One family member reached out to Love News back then to assure us that the decision for the resignation was made collectively.  Today the Prime Minister spoke on the issue saying he will not get into the details of what was discussed, but he is grateful for the Governor General’s service.

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “I will not discuss what the discussion I’ve had with the Governor General. What I will tell you though is that I have great respect and admiration and love for the Governor General. He has served us well and we need to be as a nation grateful for the work that he has done. Now what we are supposed to be ashamed of as a government all since he was from Dame Minita Gordon is the way we have treated our Governor Generals. I mean if you look at what the salary that the present Governor General is getting I mean it’s shameful for the head of state to be paid four thousand dollars a month. It is shameful that the Governor General does not have health insurance. It is shameful that the pension that he will get is going to be a pittance. Now we have said that that needs to be fixed and despite the fact that we’re going through a tough economic time right now we are going to fix it and I’ve given my commitment to the family of the Governor General that we are going to do everything to fix that so that he can also benefit from the improved pension that we want to put in place for the Governor General. So I finish with this, that I am very very grateful to the unselfish service that the Governor General gave to this country and I am hopeful that all of us can use him as an example just like the father of the nation what service to the people is all about.”

Reporter: Who will be his replacement?

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “We have not decided that at this time. You know that we came into a platform of trying to empower more women and so I will leave you with this that yes we are looking at trying to identify a woman of substance that can try to fill in the shoes of the present Governor General because that’s going to be a tough job to follow but we’re looking at that and so we’re hoping that the next Governor General is going to be a woman.” 

And while the Prime Minister did not deny or confirm that he had requested the resignation, he did speak firmly on the fact that the letter was leaked to the media before he had a chance to read it. 

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: I have not seen the letter yet. It is only until Renee sent me the letter, and that goes to show you the problems right now with that we have a public service or a few members- not everybody-  that they are just to try to undermine our government. Everything that we do they release. Why is it that they did not do that for the past thirteen years. If they’d have done that earlier then maybe we would not have been in such a -”

Reporter:  But are you saying it’s wrong ?

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Yes it is wrong to do that, to release a letter that was sent to me. Not that there’s any secret. Obviously, we would have made it known when it would have come to my attention. It is wrong, it is actually under the regulations that public officers should not be releasing the information. Jules you wouldn’t want your employees issuing out that you got a contract and they go say “Bwai I just got a big contract from BTL.” 

Reporter: But that’s a private company. You’re managing public funds, the people’s money.

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: We are managing public funds but there is a way how to do it. We’re still managing a business.

Reporter:  Yet you’re implementing a whistleblowers legislation to protect people like those.

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize:No but the whistleblower’s legislation is not to protect people like those. It’s to protect people that are exposing wrongdoing in government. Releasing a letter from the Governor General sent to me that’s not exposing wrongdoing.”

Sir Colville Young noted in his letter, quote, “it has been an honor and great privilege to serve our nation during my term of office and it is my hope that I have made a difference in the lives of many, a difference for good, especially for the young people of Belize and I thank the successive governments that have allowed me to render the service I have.”  End of quote.  He concluded by offering to continue serving Belize during his retirement.  Sir Colville Young has been serving as the Governor General since 1993.