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Oct 24, 2011

Senator Hulse says Senate shouldn’t vote on the 9th

Godwin Hulse

While the Court of Appeal was hearing submissions on behalf of Vaughan Gill and Ricardo Castillo, in Belmopan the Senate was meeting as scheduled. By midday the Ninth was ratified albeit with a slim majority. Here is how that happened.  Two senators did not make it to the Belmopan and a third seat was vacant awaiting an appointment; two others abstained and one voted against, bringing that number to six, which means the Ninth Amendment Bill, which is the official Eight Amendment to the Belize Constitution, passed with six votes. Senator Godwin Hulse, who represents the business community, told News Five why he abstained from the vote, even though the Chamber of Commerce has said no to the ninth.

Godwin Hulse, Senator

“I made it absolutely clear so that nobody has any doubts, the business community and the chamber of commerce more particularly and the prime minister has said that continues to oppose to this amendment. They want me to vote no. I made the point that yes I will vote no for them—that is the view of the chamber. However, I declined to vote on this because Senator Gordon and myself hold the view that this particular senate has no jurisdiction over this amendment because of section sixty-nine itself, not the injunction. Section sixty nine says that only when it comes to part two of the constitution does the senate have any jurisdiction and it is only a limited jurisdiction. We are not amending anything in part two, part two stays the same. And so these other sections are outside. Once the house has passed it, the house has passed it. This is what it says; the speaker gives a certificate to the governor general saying the house has passed it in accordance with the rule—thing done. I maintain that we should not have been discussing the ninth; I mean the eighth, today. And so I don’t consider the vote is of any value.”

Jose Sanchez

“Even though you didn’t vote, how did the rest of the senate vote?

Godwin Hulse

“Senator Gordon did the same like me. The government side of course voted yes and Senator Shoman voted no. And you had three absences—two from the government’s side and the unions were not represented either.”

Jose Sanchez

“How does this injunction play any role in your opinion on the way forward for this amendment?”

Godwin Hulse

“None at all where the senate is concerned, but where the Governor General is concerned. I haven’t seen it. But as far as I’m concerned, the bill should have gone from the house to the Governor General and that’s where it plays its role.”

Jose Sanchez

“Anything further you want to add?”

Godwin Hulse

“Yeah just so that people are absolutely clear and please don’t edit this cause I’ll be watching tonight; absolutely clear: if the vote had value—and this is not Godwin Hulse’s view—this is the business community I represented—I would have voted no. I have no problem personally with government in terms of government acquiring on behalf of the people of Belize fifty-one percent ownership in any of public utilities; in fact I had supported this motion in the past. In fact, I like the Esquivel form of that where there is a beautiful private sector/public sector relationship—I like that very much. We’ve gone through a lot of things; there is a lot of confusion really. The issue the chamber has is how the utilities were acquired this time. The issue is how they were acquired, not that the fact that government shouldn’t have acquired it, it’s how they were acquired it. And that is why they continue to object and it’s on that principle.”

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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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3 Responses for “Senator Hulse says Senate shouldn’t vote on the 9th”

  1. Jan says:

    The beauty of politics everyone is right in its on moment.

  2. Bmp Resident says:

    Make up your mind Melvin Hulse….are you are a PUP or UDP, you can’t have one foot on this side and the other on the next,

  3. CEO says:

    Godwin you voted may say any crap you want to you voted YES for that mess that needs much cleaning up from the start!

    He who stands aside in silence while wrong is happening only gives strength to the wrong that is perpitraited. Whether the vote counted or not you should have voted and then let the court decide the validity of the vote.

    This is the same reason if you view a crime and not report it you could and should be charged with aiding and abetting! Godwin: I think you were smart enough to know this!

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