Cabinet Reshuffle Raises Questions About Oversight as Backbenchers Assume Ministerial Portfolios

Cabinet Reshuffle Raises Questions About Oversight as Backbenchers Assume Ministerial Portfolios

On April 3, the Government of Belize announced a reshuffling of Cabinet portfolios which included the appointment of three new ministers of state. With those appointments, the government gave all its backbenchers in the House of Representatives a ministerial portfolio. The move raised some alarm in the Senate with Business Senator Kevin Herrera explaining that backbenchers are supposed to provide some level of oversight to the executive. Chairman of the Opposition United Democratic Party, Michael Peyrefitte says he is not opposed to the move but questions Prime Minister John Briceno’s reasoning for the appointments. He added that he would like to know how these ministers of state will function in their respective ministries.

Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Party Chairman: “The Prime Minister would have to explain his strategy. From what I remember being in Cabinet I can’t remember any backbencher not being a minister of state. And ministers of state sat in Cabinet. Yes it’s a different dynamic and I guess the Prime Minister has to find employment for those who he believe delivered in the March 6 municipal elections or at least to give them an inner track to hopefully maintain that majority of sixteen at the next general elections. He wants to keep everybody happy at any cost but we have to remember Ministers of State are not full ministers. They don’t sign any statutory instruments for example. They don’t play any role other then essentially being sort of in between the CEO and the Minister. The Minister is the minister, John Briceno said that himself when referring to Chris Coye he said “he’s the minister of state, I’m the Minister. So anything that happens in finance it’s me not him.” I can’t see what the purpose of some of them were other than maybe a bump in salary ? A bump in privileges ? I don’t know. And then again this government does strange things. We have a now minister of state who is as powerful or if not more powerful than certain ministers with Cabinet privileges. So they create whatever they want to create. They come up with all sorts of things and it would be interesting to know what these new ministers of state would do that the CEOs and the Ministers weren’t doing before. I mean what will be their specific job description ? What will they be in charge of specifically what will they be doing, what will they be held accountable for ?”

The new ministers of state are Alex Balona who was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise; Marconi Leal, who was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing; and Jorge Espat who was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment.

Related post

Elvia Vega-Samos Faces Challenge Ahead of General Elections

Elvia Vega-Samos Faces Challenge Ahead of General Elections

Elvia Vega-Samos is the only PUP Standard Bearer who will go to a convention prior to the general elections next year. …
PUP Endorses Newcomers in 30 Divisions, Seeks Candidate for Collet Division

PUP Endorses Newcomers in 30 Divisions, Seeks Candidate for…

For the remaining 30 divisions, the PUP will be endorsing all candidates including the newcomers, Lorna McKay in Queen’s Square area,…
Allan Pollard’s Political Aspirations Setback After Rejection

Allan Pollard’s Political Aspirations Setback After Rejection

One candidate’s position that stands out is Allan Pollard.  Pollard was hoping to elevate to national politics like his colleague, Kaya…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *