PUP Pushes More Reforms for Senate, Integrity Commission

vlcsnap-2014-02-01-01h26m42s175Yesterday, in our interview with Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca, he spoke about reforms for the Senate and the integrity commission.

The Government’s plans to reestablish the Integrity Commission are on pace with the installation of former Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Marilyn Williams.

The Opposition can agree on five appointees of the Government to the seven-member board, and has direct control of the appointments of the others. Fonseca says quality, not quantity, is the aim.

vlcsnap-2014-01-31-21h57m20s229Hon. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition

“There is no guarantee that we can only appoint people that will act in the interest of the Belizean people, uhm, you know, but, the law…as the law is set up today, that is the structure of the Commission.  It is something we have talked about, that we have to look at; we have to review that structure of that Commission for that very purpose, to make it less political, to make it more independent, to make it more effective.  Certainly, that is something that we have to look at in the future”.

And he calls for the implementation of the 13th Senator to make that body more independent.

vlcsnap-2014-01-31-21h52m20s67Hon. Francis Fonseca:  “It is absolutely critically important.  We have been supporting this from the very beginning.  Yes, we need a 13th senator; a 13th senator would allow for the senate to be independent, we would not have the type of problems we are having now and I don’t believe as I have said on the record, that that would prevent for work for government for moving forward.  If we can’t convince as a government as I said repeatedly, one of our social partners to support a particular action that the government wants to take or a particular law that the government needs to advance, then, something is wrong.  We should then take pause and go back to the table and discuss it further.  So, I fully support a 13th senator ; I believe it is the way to go and the next PUP government will certainly take that approach in strengthening of the independence of the senate”.


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