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May 19, 2017

President Defends Actions But Says Further Interruptions Will Not Be Tolerated

Lee Mark Chang

Senate President Lee Mark Chang defended his actions following the meeting. He pointed to his track record of being what he feels is overly generous with Senators in raising issues inside the Upper Chamber and said he didn’t feel it necessary for the Opposition Senators to essentially throw a temper tantrum after not getting their way. Nonetheless, he said he had and would not tolerate such incidents as leader of the Upper Parliament. He told reporters that he and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Speaker Laura Longsworth, and Clerk to the National Assembly Eddie Webster, would meet with Belmopan Police this afternoon to talk about security procedures for future meetings of the National Assembly. Meanwhile, Business Community Senator Mark Lizarraga explained why he disagreed with the President’s decision.

 

Lee Mark Chang, President of the Senate

“There is procedure and there are ways to get things done in the Senate. And I do believe – if you were here a couple times – I don’t tolerate any B.S. in terms of the gallery and those type of stuff in here. I had spoken with Senator Courtenay when he called me and I said let me review my Standing Orders and see if I could allow it. The Standing Order gives me the authority to either agree or disagree; I disagreed because I have some pending meetings to address these matters. We’re going to address these matters and make sure these occurrences do not continue to happen, or happen again. Hence the reason for my decision.”

 

Reporter

“As a member of the Upper House, can we get your comment in relation to what transpired Wednesday – it happened during a hearing of a Committee of the Senate, and it appears these men deliberately came here to disrupt such a sitting and in the process ended up assaulting members of the media?”

 

Aaron Humes

“And threatened to do it again next week and every week thereafter?”

 

Lee Mark Chang

“Well I will be very clear with you: not in my House! Once I am here, that will not happen.”

 

Reporter

“No matter who it is?”

 

Lee Mark Chang

“It doesn’t matter who it is; I’ve cleared the gallery; threatening words have been “stoned” across the aisle and I’ve instructed the officers to send them out. So once I am here, I’ll do what I need to do, hence the reason why I am going to a meeting right after this, to make sure that we can have more enforcement for the future, things not to reoccur. Yes, mistakes have been done, but we need to fix it and move on.”

 

According to Eamon Courtenay it had been discussed with the social partners to have all of them walk out along with the Opposition, but the four social partner senators declined on the basis that they wanted to be able to debate the business of the day.

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2 Responses for “President Defends Actions But Says Further Interruptions Will Not Be Tolerated”

  1. Susan says:

    Chairman aldo was a wimp-he could not control order in his proceedings when he had all authority to do so.

  2. lucas says:

    For sometime now, some UDP tugs have been breaking the law with impunity. It is hard not to believe that they act with consent of the most honorable Dean Barrow. If not, can someone explain why the PM office has not condemned such undemocratic behavior which violated the Sanctity of the Senate’s Chamber?. Perhaps the Belize law does not apply to August and Yellowman but THE LAW OF THE STREET do. Who have ears would do well to hear.

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