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BNTU sends warning to PM, after UDP Ministers Boycott PAC

This morning the Belize National Teachers’ Union, BNTU, fired off a statement in which it placed on record its “condemnation of the four Ministers of the United Democratic Party, UDP, who were no-shows of the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, PAC.” The PAC was supposed to meet yesterday in Belmopan but only the Chairman, Julius Espat and Kareem Musa presented themselves. The other members of the Committee were absent. The BNTU reminds that it fought long and hard in October 2016 to quote, “ensure that several check and balance mechanisms, inclusive of the PAC, were not only instituted but also given the necessary support systems to carry out their functions.” End of quote. The BNTU interprets the absence of the UDP Ministers as  “an obvious BOYCOTT of the process and blatant disrespect of the Belizean populace who voted them to serve and are deserving of a proper account of all public funds.”  The BNTU is sounding a warning to Prime Minister Dean Barrow that “his continued actions and the actions of his Ministers are clear indication that the Belizean people are being taken for fools!”  The BNTU says that it will not sit idly by and allow the Barrow Administration or any administration to act as if though they are not accountable to the people. Just before news time, the Government of Belize fired off a response to the BNTU. The government says that it did not boycott the PAC meeting.  According to the statement, the Government ministers requested that the meeting is postponed because two ministers had contracted conjunctivitis and the other has the flu. GOB says  “It is customary that when Ministers give advance notice that they are unable to make a meeting, the Government side tries to find other Ministers to deputize on their behalf.  In this case, the notice of the absences was received last minute so the Government side was unsuccessful in finding substitutes.”  The next meeting is scheduled for November 9.