Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019. 1:35 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: With effect from June 11, 2019, according to the National Assembly of Belize website, “the Office of the Clerk has officially been informed by the Leader of the Opposition, the Honorable John Briceño, of Senator Eamon Courtenay’s resignation from the Senate. Furthermore, the Office has also been informed that the Leader of the Opposition has advised the Governor-General that the Opposition has nominated Mr. Michel Chebat as the designate to fill the vacant seat.”
The senior attorney was first appointed to the Senate in 2006, also serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was re-appointed in 2015 and served as lead opposition senator and representative on the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration from November 2017 to December 2018.
At the height of the inquiry, both the Government and the United Democratic Party called for Courtenay to step down over ties to Lord Michael Ashcroft in the midst of the Government’s battle with the Belize Bank over the UHS loan. At the time, Lord Ashcroft said he was prepared to release him from his legal work so that he could concentrate on the Select Committee. In May of 2018, he was directly targeted in a cynical attack by U.D.P. Chair Alberto August during back to back meetings of the Committee while it was questioning former Minister of State Elvin Penner, on the latter occasion causing disruption and inadvertently targeting members of the press.
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