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Government confirms Senator Eamon Courtenay to drop Ministerial portfolios

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2023. 9:22 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Office of the Prime Minister has confirmed information first reported publicly on Tuesday about the reduction of responsibilities for Senator Eamon Courtenay.

Effective December 31, Courtenay will wrap up his duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration and return to practicing private law after an agreed three-year stint, while still retaining his position as a Senator and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, with Cabinet privileges. He will also retain overall responsibility for Belize’s two cases currently before the International Court of Justice.

Prime Minister John Briceño paid tribute to the man some consider the moving hand, if not the outright director, of the national Government in the first three years of his administration in a statement: “I am grateful for Eamon’s immense Ministerial contribution over the past three years… Belize’s diplomatic and foreign trade standing climbed to new heights as a result of Eamon’s leadership, while the Immigration Department has achieved major milestones including the e-passport and amnesty.”

The notice says the Prime Minister will advise Her Excellency, the Governor General, to assign the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to Francis Fonseca, who will also continue to serve as Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology. The responsibility for Immigration will fall under the Office of the Prime Minister.

Courtenay is the second Minister this year and third overall during the Briceño administration to change or leave office, following Attorney General Magali Marin-Young and former Minister of Health Michel Chebat, who switched portfolios with colleague Kevin Bernard about a year on from the start of the administration. Former Home Affairs CEO Kevin Arthurs has also demitted office.

 

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