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Oct 8, 2013

Mark Lizarraga says that there is a critical need for 13th senator

Mark Lizarraga

Whatever the reason, the fact is that the government maintains a majority in the Senate. That means that once a bill is presented by government, the extreme likelihood is that the “Aye’s” will have it – regardless of substantive or drafting errors. According to Lizarraga, the error in the bill for an amendment to the Criminal Code has highlighted paucity in checks and balances. And it has also given credence to opinion that the Senate is nothing more than a rubber stamp. There is a critical need for a thirteenth senator – one which was promised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He changed his mind for reasons of his own, but Lizarraga is sending out a call for government to make good on that commitment.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Sector

“I understand for some reason the government is refusing to fulfill its promise and you perhaps should speak to them about that. But certainly, again going back to the comments made by the Caribbean Court of Justice, we need to have stronger oversight not only to correct errors but really to make substantive changes because we raised a whole host of other issues that have passes, and that will continue to be passed because the Executive controls the majority in the Senate as well.  I most definitely see a need for a thirteenth Senator and that Senator needs to come from a non-political grouping because in that way you lend balance, and an unbiased balance…unbiased political bias to the debate and to the voting in the Senate, and the Senate as the upper house should be that final check and balance in the system.”

 

As we’ve mentioned, the Senate meets on Wednesday and the only item on the agenda is the amendment to the Criminal Code. Lizarraga believes that the error will be taken out, and the bill will have its final reading in that session.

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