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Dec 28, 2016

How Will Trade Union Congress Resolve Presidential Problem?

Marvin Mora

Following the Annual General Meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in San Ignacio on December seventeenth, the Congress is without a duly elected president. Marvin Mora, who was running for a second term as the incumbent, easily won the vote over Hubert Enriquez of the Southern Workers’ Union. However, according to the Constitution of the N.T.U.C.B., he could not run for office on the executive a third time. Veteran trade unionist Jacqueline Willoughby was also elected at that meeting as first vice president. She is now holding over as acting president until the matter is resolved by the membership. News Five spoke to her today to find out how that will be done.

 

Jacqueline Willoughby-Sanchez

Jacqueline Willoughby, Acting President, N.T.U.C.B.

“The matter with Brother Mora – there was an obvious oversight in whether or not he had served two consecutive terms in accordance with the Constitution, which would then suggest that he would not be able to run again. It was, as I said, an oversight that he or no one else present at that time remembered that he had in fact served and so immediately, that puts his office into question, in terms of the Constitution.  It is natural, that if an election to a certain extent is unlawful, it is unlawful and the post becomes null and void. How we treat with it now is: we can move to an extraordinary general meeting; or we can wait for the next election to determine who would be the President; the General Council, at a special meeting, has decided that we will move to an extraordinary meeting, which means a letter has to be written; preparations have to be made by the Executive Committee, recommended by the G.C., for us to move to a date to elect a President. We have agreed – the General Council have agreed that this is the process we will take. That process is now ongoing, in that we have already received the letter; shortly thereafter, we will examine what we need to be examined in terms of the documents to be submitted; those documents will be submitted along with the recommendations to the G.C. for a date to be set. So we are anticipating between now and March thirty-first, we will have a President in place.”

 

Reporter

“Who will be eligible to run in that scenario, including yourself?”

 

Jacqueline Willoughby-Sanchez

“Anybody who has not served on the executive for two consecutive terms.”

 

The provision includes positions other than President. Mora has expressed the view that the relevant section of the constitution has unintended consequences and therefore requires revision. He was previously second vice president under the presidency of Dylan Reneau; he remains a delegate of the Congress representing the Belize Energy Workers Union. The rest of the executive is as follows: Lorelei Westby is second vice president having gone up for the post uncontested. Also uncontested for the post of General Secretary was Patrick Balan. Fayne Nicasio won over Daniel Luna to become the Assistant General Secretary. Treasurer is Jorge Mejia who won handsomely over Sharon Fraser. There are also posts for two trustees and those elected are Daniel Luna and Ramiro Gongora. For the post of Director of Education, Eldred Neal went up uncontested, while Jose Escalera won against two others for the post of Councillor. The Director of Gender Affairs will be Marianne Vasquez who did not face any challenge.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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