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Dec 9, 2015

Petrocaribe Appropriations Bill Tackled in the Senate

Mark Lizarraga

On the table for discussion, debate and passage before the Senate this morning were two loan motions for road rehabilitation and tourism, thirteen agreements for ratification and the usually inflammable Petrocaribe appropriations bill. The session was the first official meeting since elections on November fourth and had the participation of a new president and six new Senators – five from the ruling party and one representing the Church. There was plenty of back and forth action, and tonight we start our coverage with a spirited discussion of an appropriations bill presented in the House last Friday, opened by Private Sector Senator Mark Lizarraga.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector

“We don’t know what it is that any of this has been spent on. Today we are being asked to approve forty-four point seven million dollars. How can we know what was spent and on what projects Mister President? None of us here perhaps know. How can we know if we have received value for money? What was delivered for forty-four point seven million dollars? To who, where and for what? Those are the questions. And then we wonder why the International Rating Agencies make mention of pre-election spending. Where is the transparency? Where is the transparency? You know, you can’t take this to a banker to get this approved…an economist, an attorney, an engineer, or provide any educator as well or businessman. How can we approve.”

 

Macario Coy

Macario Coy, Senator, U.D.P.

“President, according to the standing order of the senate thirty-three six says except for the leader or the president, a senator shall not read his speech and he is reading his speech, Mister President.  And I hope he’s talking about constituency; I hope he’s not interested in Freetown.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Mister President, I am reading from the supplementary appropriation here. I’ve asked for permission to refer to my notes and please, elections are five years away; worry about it then, noh right now. Yo have five years and three months; enjoy it. Make we keep the debate in here issue-based. I would hope that we noh go through another term listening to political rhetoric.”

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