Seven Ministers return - Cabinet reshuffles again!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 30            August 26, 2004

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Last Friday, the Prime Minister convened a special meeting of the newly re-constituted Cabinet. All seven of the ministers who resigned with effect August 16th, returned to Cabinet on Friday, August 18th, 2004 and re-affirmed their commitment to a Code of Conduct that ensures that they faithfully serve the people of Belize. Notably, Minister Ralph Fonseca did not resign which was a key issue that led the other seven to resign last Monday.

    Members of the newly re-shuffled Cabinet and their current and/or re-assigned ministries are as follows. Prime Minister/Rt. Hon. Said Musa – Finance, Defense and Public Service; Deputy Prime Minister/Hon. Johnny Briceño – Natural Resources and appointed a Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; Hon. Vildo Marin – Health and Environment; Hon. Ralph Fonseca – Home Affairs and Investment; Hon. Assad Shoman – National Development; Hon. Mark Espat – Tourism, Culture, and Enterprise; Hon. Jose Coye – Works and appointed a Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; Hon. Godfrey Smith – Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO); Hon. Cordel Hyde – Housing; Hon. Francis Fonseca – Education and appointed the Attorney General; Hon. Marcial Mes – Local Government and Labor; Hon. Eamon Courtenay – Foreign Trade; Hon. Sylvia Flores – Human Development; Hon. Mike Espat – Fisheries, Cooperatives and Commerce and Industry; Hon. Servulo Baeza – Agriculture; and Hon. Ainslie Leslie – Energy and Communications.

    In addition, Hon. Dave Burgos was named a Minister of State in the Ministry of Works; Hon. Ismael Cal was named a Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture; and Hon. Rodwell Ferguson was named a Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development.

    According to an August 20th Government of Belize press release, The Ministers expressed their full support of the Government’s commitments for continued political reform, especially as they apply to accountability, transparency, honesty and people’s participation.

    The Prime Minister addressed the Cabinet and stressed the importance of the doctrine of collective responsibility and the need to implement it responsibly.He also expressed his absolute confidence in the ability of the Cabinet to fulfill the Manifesto of the People’s United Party - Keep Belize Free, which will ensure the equitable development of Belize, for the benefit of all its people.

    Also, Hon. Assad Shoman was sworn in as a Senator following the resignation of Senator Therese Rath. Minister Shoman had previously served as the Ambassador to Cuba, with ministerial rank as the Chief Foreign Affairs Representative for the Government of Belize.

    Cabinet agreed to meet in regular session on Tuesday, August 24th, 2004. The first topic on the agenda was a full discussion of the situation with regard to the Belize Social Security Board’s operations, including a presentation by the officials of the Board.Cabinet also reviewed the Central Government’s accounts and the economic strategy for fiscal

and monetary stability. 

    As of press time on Tuesday, no further information on these topics was available.
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