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Screen_shot_2013-11-11_at_6.25.50_PMLast week we told about the special senate meeting that was held in Belmopan City to bring across three bills of national importance. Chief among them was the hot button issue in the Immigration Scandal which brought forward a motion from Senator Lisa Shoman on a Senate Inquiry for the appointment of a Special Selected Committee. But that motion was thrown out the room by the UDP senate. Here is that fiery exchange between Opposition parties.

Karen Bodden, Opposition Senator

“I no longer trust that what is being called an administrative investigation will do what a real investigation is supposed to do that is, reveal the truth and allow the law to take its course, and that is what Belizeans are asking for. We are fatigued by all this smoke and mirrors and we are asking for the respect that we deserve. We are asking for a thorough investigation. We are asking for the chips to lie where they fall. No area representative is above the law.”

Marconi Sosa, UDP Senator

“If we’re going to imply that we don’t trust the institutions of government I don’t know if the reports out of a Senate Select Committee will gain that because at the end of the day the Senate, the composition of the Senate, to a great extent is politically charged, and it is without the shadow of a doubt that such motion…the agenda behind it is politically charged.”

And while the Senate Meeting ended late Wednesday evening, it ended in confusion over the motion presented by opposition senator Lisa Shoman. It was put to a vote where the President ruled that the "no's" had it - after six UDP senators voted against the motion, while 3 opposition senators and three social partner senators voted "yes."

The outcome, stated Mark Pech, was a 6-7 Government win, but Senator Lisa Shoman challenged the President on the floor when she said he didn't have the authority to use his vote on such a motion based on section 61 three of the Constitution of Belize which states that, “The President of the Senate shall have a casting vote in the event of an equality of votes in respect of any business at a meeting of the Senate: Provided that if the President of the Senate is not a Senator, he shall not have a vote, when the Senate is deciding on any matter referred to in section sixty-one A (two) (d) of this Constitution”.

Over the weekend we caught up with the Leader of the People’s United Party Hon. Francis Fonseca who classified the decision of the Clerk of the National Assembly as a disgrace.

Hon. Francis Fonseca – Party Leader PUP

“It was very disgraceful that the UDP senators are refusing to support an independent investigation an inquiry into this important matter, the entire country has been crying out for an independent investigation, all of the social partners, the business community, the churches, the Unions, all supported the notion that was presented by the opposition, by the Peoples’ United Party all of those senators supported that motion calling on the government to have an independent investigation into the this corruption scandal at the immigration department.”

According to Hon. Fonseca, the People’s United Party will stand firm with Senator Lisa Shoman and will support her with any measures necessary to pass the bill in the senate.

Hon. Francis Fonseca – Party Leader PUP

“Everything that senator Lisa Shoman does, she does with the support and approval of the People’s United Party, we approve the motion and we will approve and support any measures moving forward whether it means going to court or whether it means engaging in other actions along with our social partners to continue to keep the pressure on the government to make sure that we have an inquiry into the matter.”

Senator Shoman plans on taking the matter to court to challenge the final record at the National Assembly.

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