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Nov 12, 2015

Businessman Mark Lizarraga is Re-elected to Second Term as Senator

Mark Lizarraga

On Wednesday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry met in special session to elect a senator to upper parliament.  Daniel Gutierrez of Belize Natural Energy Limited and businessman Mark Lizarraga both offered themselves for candidacy.  Following the first round of election, Lizarraga was returned to represent the business community.  This is his second term as a senator and earlier today Lizarraga told News Five that prior to the November fourth general elections, the chamber met with all political parties to discuss its business manifesto.  The agenda items on that platform are expected to be addressed by government, as well as the business community over the next five years.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Newly Re-elected Business Senator

“As you know, this is the process that we go through every time we elect a senator.  There’s a first round of voting within the members of the chamber to see who they choose and then the winner of that election goes against the member that the [Belize Business Bureau] BBB puts up to be their candidate.  In this case the BBB endorse me so when I won to be the candidate for the BCCI, in effect it was a done deal.  I mean there was no need for that second round of voting.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And you went up against Daniel Gutierrez if I’m not mistaken.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Yes, Daniel Gutierrez of the chamber.  He was asked to run as well and so fortunately I came out on top.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Are there any concerns from the business community going into this, the third consecutive administration of the U.D.P.?”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“I know that there are a lot of issues still on the table.  The BBB, as you know, has put out a manifesto and so has the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  They have their plans, they have things that they want to see in this term.  You know, the chamber met with the three political parties, presented its manifesto and asked them to endorse it, you’re familiar with that process.  So yes, we have highlighted our agenda items for this electoral term and I think my mandate is very clear and it focuses primarily, as you know, something that is not new for the chamber.  It focuses on oversight and governance mechanisms and open transparent and accountable governance and reporting of our tax dollars.  But I think that that is clear.  I think we will continue to call for that.  We know that the countries that have adopted these models of oversight and accountability have done well, their economies have improved and their competitiveness has improved.  So it’s no secret, this has been an agenda item for us for a long time and we look forward to supporting the government with any pieces of legislation that they may propose to pass on these matters.  In their manifesto they spoke about improving the governance and accountability in our country so we look forward to supporting those pieces of legislation as well when they come up.”

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