UDP Chairman, Senator Michael Peyrefitte today repeated his call for the Government to explain if there are any other ministers of Prime Minister John Briceno’s Cabinet working for the Government. Peyrefitte wrote the PM twice to ask for the documents, which former GG Sir Colville Young signed off on and which allows Courtenay Coye LLP to do legal work for the government. While that special permission is now public, Peyrefitte told our newsroom that the PM only fulfilled a part of his demands.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “I asked the Prime Minister for all exemptions that have been given to all ministers since he’s become Prime Minister that was from November 2020. He sent me the exemptions for two of those ministers however I clearly recall that another sitting minister had said he had requested permission from the Governor General so I want to know if that request was not made again or if that request was granted and if it was we want to see which minister in fact was given permission by the Governor General to engage in contracts with the government through the firm for which they’re a shareholder or a director. So I just want to make it clear that if we come across any contracts that involved companies in which ministers have shares or control of then we want to call out those people for not doing as the constitution requires which is getting permission from the Governor General. So this is just a matter of tidying it up.”
Dale McDougall, Love FM News: Going past just exposing the documents what happens next ? Will there be legal action ?
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “Well there will have to be action to have those people removed from parliament because as the opposition we have a job to be a watch dog to the government and we have to make sure that the government is not just doing what it’s supposed to do on certain fronts but on every front especially making sure that they’re doing what the law requires and they’re following the laws of Belize especially the supreme law which is the constitution.”
And while it remains to be seen if any other minister has gotten that special permission, Senator Peyrefitte also says that the Prime Minister’s response on how much Courtenay Coye has been paid for those legal services was not satisfactory. He says the PM’s figures are not to be believed.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “We don’t believe that figure quoted as being the true amount being paid or having been paid to Courtenay Coye LLP but the truth always come out and we will find out the truth.”
Dale McDougall, Love FM News: My understanding of it is that it’s more than the $250,00 plus sum in both instances that have been paid. But that’s unofficially. How does that square off in your mind ?
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “Well it doesn’t feel good. It feels like you government is being dishonest with us and as an opposition the people demand that we keep the government’s feet to the fire and we keep them at the very least on their toes and we won’t give up and we won’t relent and we will go and go and go until we get official confirmation of the figures, of the real figures.”