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Jul 23, 2009

Residents throw tough remarks at public consultations

Story PictureThe government is proposing amendments to the constitution. Last night they held the first in a series of countrywide consultations regarding whether or not a person may be appointed as attorney general though he or she is not an elected member of the House of National Assembly. The other two amendments dealt with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court. And the most controversial was the Dual citizenship amendment. This is how it went at the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Centre where about a hundred persons attended.

John Saldivar, Minister of Public Service
“We are simply saying that we need to widen the scope of persons who can serve as Attorney General. That is all we’re saying and this is not to say that once the law is passed, we have to. It is simply widening the opportunity for us to choose persons who may not want to get into politics.”

Citizen #1
“One, do we have a current attorney general? It seems that we are advertising the post of the current attorney general because he is not doing his job? I just wanted to ask that question first. The second question I wanted to ask is there some way of opening the door possibly for us to now have someone with a degree in medicine to be the minister of health, which may be needed with all that’s happening at the K.H.M.H., an engineer as the minister of works, someone with a degree as the minister of natural resources. I just wanted to ask the question honourable John Saldivar.”

John Saldivar
“Your conjecture was based on one, formation. The attorney general is already required to be a lawyer.”

Citizen #2
“If this is supposed to be a consultation, then I didn’t come here to get any kind of what the old administration did or what the new one is going to do. I want to know where you gonna take us.”

Citizen #3
“We’re so close to bloody revolution, it’s not funny and all it will take is a half dozen of those misguided boys in the streets to suddenly realize who di hell we di shoot each other fah? Why we noh go shot down wah three, four ah dehn big bwai? And an innocent man, like yourself, doing a great job, comes under the hammer. So I beg of you, the changes that you’re putting forward, make sure that everything is in place to swiftly change nolle prosequi back to Sub Umbra Floreo.”

Citizen #4
“The objective you told us, I don’t think nobody buys it. So what is the real objective, who is it that you guys want to elect and appoint or whatever that you don’t want to say because that’s what it is and I think a lotta people know the name but you know dehn wah sue we if we do day, so we no gwein deh.”

Citizen #5
“Ih no fair fi tell people Monday fi come to something like dis Wednesday. So noh think dat dis dah lee bit a people count wah hundred more person weh deh yah, ih noh fair; unnu wrong. Numba two; unnu seh dat how being in di Senate too political because yoh appoint six from di U.D.P. or current government and so much form di other one. But what dah di guarantee now dat one man or woman, di prime minister, no want appoint ih own political? To me dat dah even more leeway fi dah person appoint just political. So dah reason noh mek no sense to me.”

Citizen #6
“This will give opportunities to other foreigners to come into the country and make decisions on our behalf and sir we just can’t have that happen and I hope my fellow Belizeans really listen to what we’re saying here. We just can’t serve two masters; one or the other thank you.”

Citizen #7
“If a person gets into—they run for office and they have citizenship for someplace else and if they win then I think they have to give it up.”

Citizen #8
“I have a choice, I could be anywhere else; but this is where I choose to stay and I am saying that if you heard what was just read as far as what you all have sworn as far as your oath of allegiance to Belize, it leaves no room. As far as I am concerned, that is treason and I think that is done.”

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“It is my plea to all of you to let us be very respectful. We have heard people cast aspersions, we have heard people say all kinds of mean things about government officials and ministers and that is not the spirit in which we have asked you to be here this evening. While my skin is… but we do respect you.”

Citizen #9
“Logic says that an argument is when two people have opposing opinions. I think it’s obvious that we’re having an argument because some people have a different opinion than most of the people here. So just to clarify that, we are having an argument and get that straight. We are having an argument. This dah wah quarrel Belizean style.”

Citizen #10
“My parents moved to the US in the fifties and as a result I was born in the US. I am a Belizean by decent and from what you’re saying there, at best I should be able to run but I am in support of everyone else who has gotten up to this mic and I really support that I should not be able to run.”

Citizen #11
“I no kay what because I, ova my dead body, dis would ah happen unless of course di people agree. So tek it to di referendum like dehn di seh.”

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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