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Sep 16, 2016

B.N.T.U. Pres. Says Government Should Not Interfere in Senate Select Committee

Luke Palacio

Like the Opposition People’s United Party and others, the Belize National Teachers’ Union believes Government is trying to save its own skin by attempting to control the composition and chairmanship of a Senate Select Committee on the Immigration affair chronicled by the Auditor General in a special audit. The Union’s national president Luke Palacio addressed the teachers’ views on it.

 

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“You see we cannot try to appear that we are living in a totally different world from those in the political directorate. It is common knowledge that whenever something of this magnitude happens in this country, the Prime Minister will make every effort to try and see how he can quell it but to his benefit. The constitution is clear. There should be a senate select committee to investigate those matters. Cabinet has decided that okay we go with the senate select committee. The constitution did not say that the cabinet is to decide if the senate select committee should be or not be. The constitution dictates that and now you note this morning for instance the Minister of Police was saying on another media house that they have to use the constitution in conjunction section sixty-nine or sixty-one, whatever it was in conjunction with some section seventy which says because of the composition of the senate that the government must have the majority on the senate select committee. And what they’ve done, they’ve said okay we are not saying that the government will end up with the majority you know, but they are saying that the government must have two government senators and the opposition has one senator along with the three social partners. So that the government is still outnumbered. That is not what happened in 2005 when they did the Social Security and the DFC senate inquiry. So why must it be different now? And that is the question and that again for the persons out there they may believe yea its true, that is the simple math. But why was it good back then and now it must be different when you are dealing with the same senate select committee to decide and investigate an impropriety that has been alleged to happen?”

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