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Special Sitting of House of Representatives postponed

Posted:Monday, November 27, 2017. 7:23 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Special Sitting of the House of Representatives that was scheduled for Friday, December 1, 2017 has been postponed until further notice.

This comes after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled in favor of Belize Bank regarding the debt for the former Universal Health Services Hospital which allows the bank to enforce a 2013 arbitration award against Belize. It is speculated that the Special Sitting was called to present a motion to parliament for payment of the debt.

 

The original award was for $39 million, but years of unsuccessful legal battles by the Barrow Administration and accruing interest  (over $50 million) have caused the finally tally to balloon.

Nine UDP ministers have publicly stated their position to not support the parliamentary motion to approve paying the $90 million to the Belize Bank for the secret Universal Health Services (UHS) loan agreement made by the Said Musa PUP administration.

The UDP ministers are: Micheal Finnegan, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, John Saldivar, Tracy Taegar- Panton, Hugo Patt, Pablo Marin, Frank “Papa” Mena, Angel Campus and Rene Montero.

The common sentiments is that Belize does not have anything to show for paying $90 million in debt for the private hospital.

It remains to be seen what PM Barrow’s position will be when he takes the matter to Belmopan but the public statements of key UDP ministers may pressure him to take the same position and stand against paying the award despite the CCJ ruling.

The payout must be approved by parliament before Belize Bank can collect on the debt owed to it as a result of the 2004 secret agreement made by Musa’s PUP administration.

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