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BELMOPAN, Belize -- Seven Ministers of the Belize government, including the Deputy Prime Minister, resigned their Cabinet posts on Monday. A letter was delivered to the Prime Minister, signed by all seven including Deputy PM John Briceno.
BELMOPAN, Belize -- Seven Ministers of the Belize government, including the Deputy Prime Minister, resigned their Cabinet posts on Monday.
A letter was delivered to the Prime Minister, signed by all seven, including Deputy Prime Minister John Briceno, Works Minister Jose Coye, Tourism Minister Mark Espat, Trade Minister Eamon Courtenay, Housing Minister Cordel Hyde, Agriculture Minister Servulo Baeza, and Foreign Minister Godfrey Smith.
The letter said, "In the best interest of the nation and party, we feel obliged to submit our resignation effective immediately to allow you the latitude to exercise your best judgment in the appointment of a new Cabinet."
The Cabinet Secretary, Robert Leslie, has given the only statement from the Government:
"Today, August 16, 2004, the Prime Minister received the resignations of seven members of Cabinet. These resignations will not affect the proper functioning of the Government as the Prime Minister retains oversight responsibility for the Ministries involved. I have already informed the Chief Executive Officers concerned in my capacity as Cabinet Secretary that in these circumstances they are directly responsible to the Prime Minister, and no one else, for the management of their ministries."
"The Ministers who submitted their resignations broke with Cabinet protocol by making their disagreements public and making public demands on the Prime Minister. The proper procedure would have been to resign first. By submitting their resignations in writing, they have now acted appropriately and in the best interest of the nation. This will allow the Prime Minister the opportunity to advise His Excellency the Governor General to appoint a new Cabinet. The Prime Minister will announce the names of the new Cabinet at an appropriate time."