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Sep 13, 2016

G.O.B. Now Supports Senate Select Committee; Names Composition & Chairmanship

For a second time in five days, the government has had to withdraw its position on two major issues. Last Thursday, the Prime Minister announced it would appeal a portion of the ruling of Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code. The original position was not to appeal, but after meetings with the churches, G.O.B. agreed to appeal the issue of sexual orientation. Today, the office of the Prime Minister sent out a carefully worded release announcing it is “prepared to support a Senate Select Committee rather than a bi-cameral Joint Select Committee inquiry into the Auditor-General’s Immigration Special Report.” The back peddling is due to the reversal in position by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Council of Churches, which originally supported a bi-cameral investigation. Cabinet, according to government, was also swayed by the public sentiment for the Senate to conduct the hearings.  But after agreeing to a senate investigation, G.O.B. maintained its position that one of the social partner senators be chair of the Committee. And furthermore, it announced that it supports a proposal from the Council of Churches and the Belize Association of Evangelical Christians that the Committee be made up of the three social Partner senators, three government appointed senators and only one senator from the Opposition. That’s the official stance so far and it is already coming under fire.  There was no mention of which government senators will be appointed to the Committee.

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