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Feb 11, 2011

COLA and Belizeans for Justice ask Court to install 13th Senator

The case of the thirteenth Senator came up today in the Chambers of Acting Chief Justice Samuel Lungole Awich. Belizeans for Justice is taking the government to court for not implementing a constitutional amendment to appoint one more person to the Senate. That appointment would have come from the N.G.O.s, who elected a nominee but the designated senator did not get to go to Belmopan. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The government reneged on a constitutional amendment that would have increased the composition of the senate by one to thirteen. According to the attorney for Belizeans For Justice, the group is taking the government to court to have number thirteen installed.

Jose Sanchez

“What is the strength of your case?”

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney for Belizeans For Justice and COLA

Anthony Sylvestre

“Well, it’s a very straightforward case. It’s a matter of either we’re right or wrong on this issue. And the legal learning on this part of the law is that we believe very strongly and our case couldn’t be any stronger. It’s an issue of whether the Prime Minister has the legal authority to basically excise, effectively repeal a section of a constitutional amendment. That’s effectively what he has done when he has not brought into force that section of the law.”

Yolanda Schakron

Yolanda Schakron, President, Belizeans For Justice

“The prime minister should not be afraid of the thirteenth senator. I believe that he came in with his manifesto that said that he has a government that is gonna be accountable and transparent. We voted for him and we expect him to fulfill it. I believe that there are a lot of injustices in the country and we as a group that stands up for the people, we are standing up for this because we believe that it will benefit the Belizean people in the end.  I trust Mister Barrow and I still have confidence ina ahn. I believe he will do what is right, he will show that we are living in a true democracy and eh will grant the people their wishes. We want a thirteen senator. It’s not something that he should be afraid of; he promised it so fulfill it. Show the Belizean people that you are for the people.”

Cola, fresh from their sleepover in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, has decided to join Belizeans For Justice as a claimant. Their hearing will be held on March eleventh.

Moses Sulph, President, COLA

Moses Sulph

“As a citizen of this country, I believe that at any time, it is possible that when something of such magnitude is not adhered to, each and every citizen or organization should pay attention to anything that has to do with the constitution. So it is not in my eye really a late comer, it is just that we decided to unite with an organization who we will believe is doing something that is fundamentally in the best interest of this country.  I believe that COLA believe that this is something very important and I believe that the Court will find that the constitution or the law should be implemented. I don’t think the Prime Minister has the right to decide what is best for the people of this country; I think the people of this country have a right to decide that.”

The man nominated by Non Governmental Organization’s to be their representative on the Senate is SATIIM’s Executive Director, Greg Ch’oc. Ch’oc travelled from P.G. today to attend the hearing.

Greg Ch'oc

Jose Sanchez

“As the next potential thirteenth senator, are there any specific agendas that you would want to see come forward?”

Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

“[Ahm] That’s pretty too early to begin to formulate that I think that the N.G.O./Civil Society Sector I believe has a mandate to ensure that the democratic ideals, the rule of law continue to be safeguarded and I am certain that the work that we do collectively as an N.G.O. will be the basis on how we decide on matters if this should go through.”

Jose Sanchez

“Do you think that perhaps because of the relationship, strained as it is with SATIIM and the government that may have had some impact on the Prime Minister’s resistance to implement the thirteenth senator?”

Greg Ch’oc

“Well my personal belief is that I think it has to do with my personal position on many of the issues I have brought to the forefront. And [ah], I think what I have done over the last four years speaks for itself you know.”

The case of the thirteenth Senator will be held on the thirty-first of March and the first of April. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Ch’oc was nominated Senator way back in October, 2008.

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 “COLA and Belizeans for Justice ask Court to install 13th Senator”

  1. defend BZ says:

    Be careful GOB can and may be thinking of de-reserving and taking away the national park status from the Sarstoon Temash national park. They have almost two months to do it before a judgment is made on the Greg choc`s trial.

  2. spanglish says:


  3. Earl Grey says:

    MAYBE MISS LOISE………….will do some PRO BONO work here……..since she is a founding member of COLA.

    SENATORS SHOULD BE ELECTED………….then we would not have to go through this…….

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