Opposition Confident Amid Senate Inquiry into Controversial Portico Enterprises Agreement

Opposition Confident Amid Senate Inquiry into Controversial Portico Enterprises Agreement

With more news out of the National Assembly in Belmopan, the opposition is confident that it will emerge unscathed from the senate inquiry into the controversial definitive agreement granted to Portico Enterprises. On Monday, the inquiry proceedings began several former United Democratic Party ministers called to testify. The investigation is looking at the genesis and signing of the agreement between the Barrow administration and businessman David Gegg. Barrow says while the agreement was signed by former UDP Minister Erwin Contreras days before the 2020 elections, the party had nothing to do with the decision.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “The question was asked whether or not I was concerned that UDP ministers or former ministers would anything be unearthed that incriminated them and I’m confident now as I was then that nothing of the sort will come about other than the former minister that we have already condemned and we have already said that we had nothing to do with the Portico agreement and I believe former minister the Honorable Member from Alberts has already established that and reinforced that and the Honorable Senator Former Minister Peyrefitte established that so I don’t think that anything was unearthed or there was any contradictions or there were any gotcha moment from my understanding. I don’t know if you feel different. I don’t believe in an open society, with open government where we have to be held to account that this is a waste of time any more than the commission of inquiry was a waste of time. I believe you know governments have right to investigate and to inquire into matters that they deem corrupt and so in this particular instance it is not the government, it is not the opposition it is the stakeholders that came together and brought this motion to the Senate because they felt that something was so wrong from start to finish. Their resolution, their motion was not to investigate the former minister. Their motion was to investigate the former minister up to the Cabinet members and the Cabinet member that brought the paper to Cabinet is the Prime Minister. So he is not above the law, this is not Venezuela or any of those authoritarian autocratic regimes. This is a strong democracy and I believe the Prime Minister owes it to the Belizean people and he would do well for himself to show the type of humility that we expect in our democratic leaders and show the public that he is not above the law and he is subject to all the provisions of our constitution, our senate and our House and if the Senate invites him to come he should come.”

The inquiry will also investigate the presentation of the agreement to the Cabinet and its proposed draft legislation.

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