Last night via a press release the United Democratic Party called on the People’s United Party to strip its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay, from his Senatorial seat after Courtenay had filed a constitutional challenge requesting for the Court to strike down the Central Bank International Immunities Act and Crown Proceedings Amendment Act on behalf of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited. The UDP described Courtney’s move as an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interest which comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds.
But even before the ink on the release could dry, Courtney fired back at the UPD stating that he will not be intimidated by Prime Minister and will proceed to file the challenge in an attempt to correct his unlawful actions.
And while the UDP called on the Leader of the Opposition to act swiftly to remove Senator Courtney, who is currently out of the country, that is not going to happen because the PUP is in full support of Courtenay’s decision and in a release issued this afternoon made it very clear that Belize’s foreign reserves were never at risk.
Now, you might recall that during the House Sitting held on the 27th of January, members of the PUP voted in favour of the legislation even though the UDP had failed to provide a notice on the details of the legislation itself for the conduction of proper research and consultation.
The release went on to say that while the Prime Minister had stated that the Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Act was necessary to secure Belize’s foreign reserves, research conducted by the PUP indicates otherwise as they show that Belize’s reserves in the Central Bank are not in any jeopardy but are rather safe. According to section 1611 of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of the USA, it states, quote “The property of a foreign state shall be immune from attachment and from execution, if— (1) the property is that of a foreign central bank or monetary authority”. End of quote. In addition to the research, advice was obtained from US based attorneys which also indicates that this law in particular protects Belize’s foreign reserves in its entirety.
The PUP is also in agreement with Senator Courtenay in that the UDP is only attempting to divert attention from their ‘incompetence, mismanagement and corrupt ways’ and further stated that, quote “What the UDP needs to explain is why the Prime Minister, whose law firm continues to represent Lord Ashcroft’s companies, signed a blank check to the former owners of BTL that ended up costing the Belizean people over $557 million for a part of a company that’s worth a little over $100 million? Why did Senators Godwin Hulse and Steve Duncan mysteriously drop their case in the Supreme Court in 2009 when they were challenging the BTL Accommodation agreement?” Unquote.
On another note, while the Senate Inquiry into the Immigration scandal has recently revealed the high level of corruption displayed by the UDP Government regarding ministers who visited the Immigration Department with the intention of influencing the issuing of visas, nationalities and passports, the PUP underlined that they are the ones who have in fact betrayed the Belizeans and should therefore turn in their resignation.
The release concluded by stating that, quote “Senator Courtenay has done a stellar job in the Senate highlighting the wrongdoings of this government and continues to enjoy the full support of the Leader of the Opposition”. End of quote.