CCJ Orders UDP Government to Pay US$78 Million in 10 days.

Today, Belize suffered yet another blow as a result of the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited by the current UDP Government. The CCJ has ordered the Government to pay US$78 million on or before 10 November 2017 to the former shareholders of Telemedia.
This order by the CCJ is a direct result of the poorly drafted Settlement Agreement negotiated and signed by the Prime Minister in September 2015, by which the Government gave a virtual blank check to the former shareholders of Telemedia. This Settlement Agreement was signed two months before the general elections of November 2015.
The People’s United Party again strongly condemns the UDP Government for signing a one-sided Settlement Agreement that has had a serious impact on Belize. The nationalization of Telemedia has turned out to be an extremely expensive blunder by the Government and a get rich scheme for UDP families and cronies.
The Prime Minister promised that he had negotiated a deal that would leave tens of millions for charitable purposes. Today we find out that this is not true and only a quarter of a million dollars will be available in the Hayward Charitable Belize Trust for charitable purposes and even so at all times subject to the objects and consent of the Trust not the Government of Belize. This is an absolute disaster for Belize and it is now clear
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that the Prime Minister misled Belizeans about the supposed advantages of this deal. Again, we remind Belizeans that the Prime Minister made this promise in the months just before the 2015 elections. An election gimmick.
The CCJ’s order today that US$78mn has to be paid by the Government in 10 days is serious. This is approximately one-quarter of the current reserves. The need to pay is just before Christmas when demands on foreign reserves are at the highest. The PUP calls on the Government to ensure that however it solves this problem it ensures that the Belizean dollar is not threatened. Additionally, we insist that the Government must ensure that the Belizean business community should have access to foreign reserves in the ordinary course notwithstanding this Court Order.
Finally, the PUP assures the Belizean people that it will take legal advice in order to find out who should be held responsible for this scandalous disaster that has caused the Belizean people to have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for Telemedia. There has been clear misfeasance in public office and we will insist on accountability.

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