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Dec 13, 2016

N.G.O.’s Say Process is on Track to Identify 13th Senator

Froyla Tzalam

The idea of a thirteenth senator may soon become a reality. This Friday is the deadline for final submissions of documentation by non-governmental organizations to show they are in good standing. Thereafter, the steering committee meets to peruse the list of N.G.O.s that can formally present nominees for the post. And by January, elections will be held to determine who will be the senator to represent the N.G.O. community. Media Relations Officer for the Steering Committee and SATIIM’s Executive Director, Froyla Tzalam explained to News Five today that the process is right on track to identify that future legislator by January seventeenth.

 

Froyla Tzalam, Media Relations Officer, 13th Senator Steering Committee

“We are looking for N.G.O.s in good standing so therefore we are getting a list from the Attorney General’s December nineteenth, which will be the Monday and then from there we will know which N.G.O.s can participate in the nomination and the election process.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now when is that supposed to take place?”

 

Froyla Tzalam

“Well January third is when we meet as a group face to face to nominate and from there then the Steering Committee will have to vet who the nominees are. We will then have a subsequent election—I forget the dates right now—but we are going to have an election thereafter and well before the deadline of January seventeenth.”

 

Duane Moody

“This has been something that has been long in the making. Could you talk to us about what is the sentiment that is coming out of the N.G.O. community in getting to this point and actually having a say in Belize and where the country is going?”

 

Froyla Tzalam

“Like you said, this has been a long time coming so basically the N.G.O.s that have not only been active, but have actually been in full compliance of the N.G.O. Act we have our documentation prepared. So we only have a few more to add to the list as who were not on the original list that we started off with, just twenty-three. So we expect no more than thirty to come forward because we realize that the time span between when the IS was signed to when we are now is very short. So everybody who’s been through an audit knows it takes a couple of months. So therefore, those of us who have been in good standing, we are ready for this. We welcome the opportunity to participate in the governance of our country. Some may say, but you are an N.G.O.—you are not supposed to be governmental—however, through the senator, we have a voice in the parliament. So we are as an organization still non-governmental, but we have an opportunity to express what we want and we believe we have so many different problems to address from the environment to the health, social, education…the list goes on.”

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