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Sep 14, 2016

Immigration minister, Godwin Hulse, is not selected for Senate Select Committee

Patrick Faber

Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse will not sit on the Senate Select Committee to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Audit on the Immigration Department. Both the People’s United Party and the B.N.T.U. have made that demand. But the decision was taken during the meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday.  The feeling has been that the police cannot investigate its boss and furthermore, Hulse is also named in the seven hundred page audit. While government is prepared to support a senate inquiry, there are concerns about the composition and chair of the committee.  Today, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber went on record to say that Hulse won’t be among the three U.D.P. senators.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“People were clear that they voted for a political party to be the majority and I support the prime minister one hundred percent in that, that must be the balance.  But for those who are concerned, the government in the Cabinet meeting yesterday, decided on which senators would be and while I don’t want to, we still had to confirm with the senators to see if they accepted, we did make some decisions to indicate that certainly the Minister of Immigration now who is a senator Minister Hulse, would not be one of the government’s senators on the inquiry and also that the committee of course, the inquiry would be chaired by one of the social partners.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Public perception would have it that the administration was pushing its own agenda insofar as going the route of a Joint Special Select [Committee] as opposed to the Senate Select [Committee] which is the constitutionally recognized body for that kind of an inquiry.  It seems as if though the fact that the unions, part of the social partners, the churches and finally the business sector, having come together and said, well look the right thing to do under the Laws of Belize is to go the route of the Senate Select [Committee] is when the PM sort of, or Cabinet, backtracked to say, well look we will honor having a Senate Select [Committee].”

 

Patrick Faber

“Well I will say this, going the route of a Joint Select Committee is not illegal.  Making that proposal is not contrary to anything democratic or anything that is in the laws of our land, so to say that it was conveniently choosing or the government was conveniently choosing to go that route, I wouldn’t support that.  If you listen to the argument and this is an argument supported not only by the government but, as you’ve pointed out, was of concern to other stakeholder groups, the Chamber supported this route initially, and, in fact, the churches supported this route initially.  They supported broadening the parliamentarians if you will, the members of the National Assembly that would be involved, mixing House members and Senate members together and of course in bringing in the Senate, making sure that the social partners were involved, the church, the business community and the trade unions, all of them would be involved.  That was the line of thinking.  Now, it is true, and we’re not ashamed of that, we’re not hiding that and we’re not trying to bury our heads to that.  It is testimony to the kind of leadership that is offered by the prime minister.”

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