“Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health,” International Biodiversity day
May 22, 2019
Belize and Guatemala – can we work it out?
May 22, 2019

Opposition Leader announces withdrawal of court claim, seeks concessions

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2019. 3:17 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, committed during Monday’s quiet meeting of the House of Representatives, to working with the Dean Barrow administration on the Guatemala issue, having walked away years prior.

But that commitment, he said, depends on a few things, such as accountability of funds spent, proper arming and maintenance of defense and security forces including the Coast Guard and Belize Defense Force, and full Opposition consultation and participation in the new bipartisan commission appointed by Government. The P.U.P., he confirmed, has decided to withdraw the pending lawsuit from the Supreme Court where several claimants from the P.U.P. were challenging the validity of the Special Agreement signed in 2008.

 The case was to have been first heard on appeal in the Court of Appeal in early June, before going back to the Supreme Court.

“While we remain convinced that our claim was just, we believe all our efforts must now be geared towards winning at the I.C.J. for win we must.  It is not the U.D.P. or the P.U.P. that is going to the I.C.J., it is Belize, all of us, and we on this side will always fight to protect every single, square centimeter,” Briceño remarked in the House.

 The rare display of bipartisanship in the House and Senate over the last two days made for perhaps the shortest such meetings in National Assembly history, with the House going for just under an hour and the Senate about 40 minutes.

 Prime Minister Barrow joked that Belizeans should “enjoy it, as I fear it will not last long,” but hailed the achievement anyway as a signal of at least a brief détente.

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