The announcement of elections has forced several changes, among them the case of the PUP against the Prime Minister Dean Barrow on the appointment of the thirteenth Senator. That case which is before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is postponed to November 30th. The matter on the thirteenth senator began by a proposition by the very people in government now. The UDP had included this in their 2008 manifesto but even after making amendments to the constitution the PM has refused to enforce them. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay spoke to the media on the matter.

 

Screen_Shot_2015-09-30_at_7.53.25_PMEamon Courtenay - Senior Counsel


“The Prime Minister and the Attorney General considering the 13th Senator and what happened is that it was set for trial today but it has been adjourned by agreement because the date for election has been set therefore it has been adjourned for the 30th of November when we hope by then that with a new Prime Minister we will have the 13th Senator appointed and then the claim will be withdrawn, in the event that that does not happen then the Chief Justice will set a trial date at that point in time.”


Reporter


“Sir, what are the instructions from your client Mr. Fonseca in relation to this matter is it to be argued to completion is he still philosophically trying to push this through to make sure that it happens?”


Eamon Courtenay - Senior Counsel


“Right, let me just say this and I speak on the specific authority on the Party Leader and I am not speaking at this time as an Attorney but as a representative of the party, the leader of the opposition has indicated to me that he wished the public to know that his party is firmly committed to appointing the 13th Senator, he regards the refusal of the Prime Minister to appoint the 13th Senator to constitute a betrayal of the trust of the Belizean people, he went to the electorate on that promise he was elected, the constitution was amended and the provision is there and he has refused to bring it into force, I think the public ought to recall as we move towards the election that one of the results of the Prime Minister dereliction of duty is that there was no enquiry into the corrupt dealing of the Penner scandal the Immigration scandal that was one of the things that the Senate attempted to do but because there was no 13th Senator it was not done and therefore the commitment of the People’s United Party and the Leader Francis Fonseca is as soon as possible as elected to office there will be a 13th Senator.”


Reporter


“Are you offering your services, your resources in the party in trying to get elected into office?”


Eamon Courtenay - Senior Counsel


“All hands are on deck, the People’s United Party is united, the date has been set on the 4th of November we will defeat the UDP.”


The thirteenth senator, as proposed, should represent the nongovernmental organization. Reports are that PUP leader Francis Fonseca had indicated that the 13th senator “may have impacted recent attempts to find answers to allegations of Government corruption which the Senate is normally empowered to investigate, but which attempts to initiate such investigations were thwarted by the Government”.


The Prime Minister has indicated that he has tried to work with social partners to create conditions that would help the implementation of the legislation and has spoken with the Council of Churches and the Chamber of Commerce which have a representative on the Senate. The PM has also indicated that he would resist a victory by the PUP and would appeal the ruling is that be the case.  Attorney Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay formally announced litigation on the matter in May.

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