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Jan 16, 2017

Senate Meeting Will Proceed; 13th Senator Not to be Present

Osmany Salas

The Government of Belize has announced through a Communiqué that the meeting of the Senate scheduled for Thursday, January nineteenth, will proceed as scheduled. The commitment for a thirteenth senator was made eight years ago, but newly-elected Senator representing non-governmental organizations, Osmany Salas, will have to wait even longer to sit in the senate. That is because the Commencement Order governing Salas’ appointment does not take effect until the following day, January twentieth. It is a turn of events that rankles Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, whose senators first raised the alarm. On Friday he told reporters that Government should consider postponing the meeting.


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Everything has been in place for the Senator to take the oath of office on the twentieth of this month. I think it’s an act of bad faith for the Government to hold a Senate meeting one day before the thirteenth Senator takes his oath of office, so he is unable to attend the meeting on the nineteenth; I think it’s an act of bad faith on the part of the Government. So I would appeal to the Government, to the Prime Minister, for them to postpone the Senate meeting for the twentieth, or even the twenty-first, so that Osmany can be a part of the debate, can start to do his work in representing the N.G.O. community.”


The N.G.O. Act amendment was passed and now goes to the Senate. In related news, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Godwin Hulse, has said in other media that Salas cannot be formally installed until the amendment has been passed and assented to by the Governor General. He also cited the Commencement Order as coming into effect by the end of the fiscal year, in March.  Hulse also said that there would be no other delays and the Prime Minister would keep his word. 

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1 Response for “Senate Meeting Will Proceed; 13th Senator Not to be Present”

  1. Mike Green says:

    Bureaucratic technicalities can always be overcome . . if he really wanted to. Osmany should be there. Come on, NGO’s will be effected. Let them speak.

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