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PUP Criticizes PM on Integrity Commission Request

Last Friday the Prime Minister spoke of the Integrity Commission and their request to the elected officials to submit five years of their assets.  He said it seemed somewhat unreasonable and both sides of the House shared that view.  If indeed the opposition had shared that view, tonight it seems they are taking a different stance on the matter as they sent out a press release just before six o’clock calling the PM”s statement, ‘a calculated move to circle the proverbial wagons around those Ministers who have gotten inordinately wealthy and have amassed significant holdings far outside any salaries paid to them as representatives of the government and people’.  The five paragraph release has noted that the People’s United Party is looking at legal recourse into this matter as they refer to the PM’s remarks as being a skewed legal opinion since a decision by a commission cannot supersede or trump the laws of Belize as stated in the Prevention of Corruption Act.  The Prime Minister stated that the Integrity Commission had no authority in going that far back and therefore they will not comply.  Additionally, he noted that the commission went back to the table and reconsidered their request for a five year asset declaration.  The release went on to state, quote, “The People’s United Party is serious about stomping out corruption in public office. There has been far too much of that under this UDP administration. We call on the Prime Minister to do what is right, and to demand that his Ministers, and indeed all elected representatives fulfil their responsibilities under the Prevention of Corruption Act. What is Mr Barrow so afraid of?”