The Opposition People’s United Party has chosen to replace two of its three allocated Senators after two years’ service. They are Karen Bodden of Belize City and Collet Montejo of Santa Elena, Cayo. Their replacements are Belmopan standard bearer and youth worker Patrick Andrews and Belize City lawyer Anthony Sylvestre. In a short briefing at the party’s headquarters of Independence Hall, the new senators spoke. Sylvestre said he will dedicate himself to fulfilling a particular Senate function – stamping out corruption.
“The senate is that word of the legislature which has an important and functional to flush out these sickening cases of corruption and mismanagement and to bring to the bring top te attention of the Belizean people the extent of these cases. All will agree, we cannot wait until the government is changed, and change they will change before we find out the extent of the wrongdoings. The Senate, pursuant to 61 A2 (d) of the constitution, has, as one of its constitutional remits, the power conduct inquiries, investigations on any matters of public interest or importance, including inquiries into mismanagements or corruptions by persons of the central government or public statutory bodies. I look forward to work side bu side with my colleagues, Senator Lisa Shoman and Senator Patrick Andrews as well as the senators representing the churches, Chamber of Commerce and the Trade Unions towards this end”.
We also heard from the Belmopan Standard bearer for the PUP, Patrick Andrews.
“It is a privilege for me, party leader, to serve in this capacity and to the leader of the senate, Lisa Shoman and new colleague, Anthony. We look forward to continue our way for charting our way forward for our country. Our country is continuously plagued with injustice and corruption as what my colleague just mentioned. In times such as these, it is a cause for an individual to rise up and to fight for the freedom and liberation of our country. We do not take this appointment lightly. W realize that it is a great responsibility that the party leader has put on our shoulders to continue fighting for reform of our system in this country that has not produced the results of justice and equality for all. So, to my family and friends and to the senators that have served in the past, we hope to continue this mandate of freedom and liberation for the people of Belize”.
Senator Lisa Shoman is the remaining holdover. According to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, after a review of the performance of the party’s Senators it was decided that while Montejo and Bodden were performing excellently, it was time for a change.
This is not the first time the party has changed Senators during a term of government, having done so under the second Said Musa administration and first Dean Barrow administration. The new Senators will be sworn in and serve at the next meeting of the Senate, likely after the Budget Debate next week.