By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party, in a statement yesterday, said it is greatly concerned but not surprised of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s adamant stance that he and his UDP Ministers and officials should not declare their assets and liabilities going back five years.
“This, no doubt, is 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 PUP said.
According to the PUP, Barrow has stated that the Integrity Commission, of which he appoints the Chair and clear majority, has determined that elected representatives do not have to furnish their financial information for the past five years, as clearly outlined in the Prevention of Corruption Act 2007. The Prime Minister now states that his elected representatives only have to provide financial information for one year. He claims that the Integrity Commission has the legal authority to make that determination.
The PUP says it strongly disagrees with that skewed legal opinion supported by Barrow, because a decision by a Commission cannot supersede or trump the laws of Belize.
The PUP says it has asked its legal team to look into the Commission’s action with a view to mounting a legal challenge. The party says that PM Barrow has an obligation and moral responsibility to the people of Belize to demand that the elected representatives on his side furnish their financial information as demanded by the laws.
“We have seen the trend where this Prime Minister uses, discards or manipulates our sacrosanct laws at his whim, and this will not be allowed to continue without challenge,” the statement further added.
The PUP says that it is serious about stomping out corruption in public office. There has been far too much of that under this UDP administration, the PUP said.
“We call on the Prime Minister to do what is right, and to demand that his Ministers, and indeed all elected representatives fulfill their responsibilities under the Prevention of Corruption Act. What is Mr. Barrow so afraid of?” it ends.