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Jan 5, 2017

Janelle Chanona and Donovan Reneau Discuss 13th Senator Nominations

A final list from which a thirteenth senator will be chosen was formalized on Wednesday, after a steering committee vetted the names of all nominees.  That number has since been reduced to five, since the executive director of the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, TASA, has withdrawn his candidacy.  Tonight, we’ll introduce you to Janelle Chanona and Donovan Reneau.  Both nominees are no stranger to the media—Janelle, a former television news reporter and Donovan, a well-known radio personality.  But, they appear in different capacities, representing OCEANA and BCVI, respectively.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The selection of a thirteenth senator from within the N.G.O. community has seen a shortlist of several candidates.  Nominees for the remaining seat in upper parliament have been chosen from organizations that are presently in good standing, including OCEANA in Belize, B.T.I.A. and the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired.  Among them is Janelle Chanona, current Vice President of Oceana in Belize.  As a result of her nomination, she has relinquished her post on the thirteenth senator steering committee.


Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, VP, OCEANA in Belize

“I think it goes without saying that being trusted, even considered for this type of undertaking is very humbling and I’m very keen on not making light of that and taking that as seriously as it is.  I think any and all availabilities and opportunities for you to serve the Belizean public is just an incredible opportunity and I wholeheartedly embrace that opportunity with the support of my family and my employer and my friends.  But I do realize that public service, as great an opportunity as it is, is very challenging so I also accepted the nomination very soberly because it will require one hundred and ten percent to represent the important group of people as the N.G.O. organizations are.”


Donovan Reneau, Member, BCVI

“As a blind and visually impaired person I feel like it’s a real, real, it would be a challenge for me .  I would have to employ myself a lot to prove that I can do what I can do.”


Isani Cayetano

“How was your name entered into this entire race, so to speak?”


Donovan Reneau

Donovan Reneau

“I’ve been with BCVI from the conception of BCVI when BCVI was BCVI at Red Cross.  I started from then until now and they decided that I’m a grassroots Belizean, they know I’m a native Belizean.”


Isani Cayetano

“Do you believe that based on the high demands and expectations of the Belizean society insofar as politics is concerned that you would be able to deliver on behalf of the N.G.O. community in upper parliament?”


Donovan Reneau

“I would think so.  It won’t be difficult as long as you follow your script, you follow instructions, you get people around you who would help you.  You would analyze things yourself and you put heads together, I think it could work, it would work.”


Valdemar Andrade

Valdemar Andrade, Executive Director, TASA

“On January third, we nominated Mr. Edilberto Romero as a candidate for this process.  Subsequent to that he had initially declined and then said that he would accept.  In that space of time I was called, surprisingly I was nominated by HelpAge and I accepted since he had declined.  But since I learned yesterday that he had accepted, since he is our candidate that we nominated it wouldn’t be wise for both of us being on the same ticket and that is why I have declined.  But I think what is important in all of this is that the N.G.O. community is demonstrating that they are using a process.  It’s been a mature process; it’s been iterative because we are learning as we go along.  The steering committee has taken the opportunity to meet with the Belize Chamber of Commerce.  They have met with different people to understand how they did their selection process in the past.”


Edilberto Romero

Janelle Chanona

“Mister Salas and I were both on the Thirteenth Senator Steering Committee but once our nominations were submitted, he and I both resigned from that just to make sure that there was no perception of conflict of interest there.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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