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‘No Confidence’ Motion dead on arrival

“Therefore, kindly be advised that in keeping with Standing Order 25(2a) based on the findings above, the No Confidence Motion, 2023, will not be placed on the Order Paper for the next House meeting, as it contravenes the abovementioned Standing Orders.” These are the concluding words of the Clerk of the National Assembly’s August 10th letter to Leader of the Opposition Hon. Moses “Shyne” Barrow.

In a recent interview with the media, Barrow had expressed confidence that the motion would be included on the Order Paper for Friday’s House Sitting. However, National Assembly Clerk Eddie Webster’s letter cited several areas where the motion failed to comply with the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.

“Kindly be informed that the Speaker of the House of Representatives has directed that the Private Member’s Motion infringes Standing Order 38(5), in relation to the 5th Recital of the Motion, by imputing improper motives in respect of a Minister and a Minister of State and by making assertions of malfeasance against the Prime Minister, a civil wrong for which no court of law has made any such pronouncement,” wrote Webster.

The Motion, according to Webster, also breached Standing Order 38(2) for seeking to raise an issue that is currently before the courts.

“As you may be aware, on 11th July 2023, three companies filed a claim in which the claimants are asking the Court to pronounce the lawfulness of the Portico Agreement,” Webster explained. “It is a cardinal principle of our constitutional democracy that Parliament will not engage in a debate on a subject matter which is before the Courts for determination.”

While the No-Confidence motion will not be included on the Order Paper for Friday’s House Sitting, the Supplementary Orders does show that Belize Constitution (Eleventh Amendment) Bill 2021 is returning for its second reading.

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