Mighty “Luke” is Gone; 3 Including Senator Smith to Vie for B.N.T.U. Presidency
A new president will emerge from within the ranks of the Belize National Teachers Union later this month when a convention will be held to elect a new executive. Outgoing president Luke Palacio is ineligible for candidacy since he has served in that capacity for three consecutive terms. Offering themselves are Senator Elena Smith, Troy Coleman and Mario Mesh. With up to four weeks of campaign time, the candidates are all busy covering grounds ahead of the convention. The primary concern for the union at this time, however, is the threat of political influence during the process. According to Palacio, everything is being done to deter the effects of party politics from the convention.
Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.
“Our B.N.T.U. constitution was amended in 2011, which allows for officers elected to either the national leadership of the union or the branch level, that they can only serve three consecutive terms in a specific capacity. So I’ve served three terms as the national president, so I cannot contest again at our convention to be held on the nineteenth and twentieth of April at the Escuela Mexico in Corozal.”
“Who are those who are vying for the post at present?”
“At the end of nomination, our constitution states that we must get nominations at least one month prior to convention and at that time we ended up with Mrs. Elena Smith of the Belize Branch. We have Mr. Troy Coleman of the Stann Creek Branch and Mr. Mario Mesh of the Corozal Rural Branch, contesting for the president. We, again, are a bit concerned and we will keep our eyes and ears open. We’re told that there will be attempts at political interference at our convention. Again, that is going to be a sad day for Belize but I can say here that B.N.T.U. will do everything in its power to inform its membership of any attempt by any political party trying to infiltrate this great B.N.T.U. because that is not what we are about.”
The national convention will take place on April nineteenth and twentieth in the Corozal District.