During last week Wednesday’s special senate meeting the PUP senators proposed to have a Senate select committee to investigate the Auditor General’s report, GOB counter proposed their idea and won to have a bicameral house/ senate select committee, which will have membership of the social partners – but it the majority will come from the ruling UDP. Although their proposed idea did not make it out of the senate, the PUP senators are determined in pushing to have a Senate select committee. During a press conference called yesterday, they explained why.
Honorable Michel Chebat - PUP Senator
"How can we have a joint or a bicameral committee when in fact the majority of the persons who would make up that committee would be as a matter of course Ministers who may or not have been named; and I think you have to realise that such a committee, whatever report, whatever they decide would first have to go to cabinet. Can you see a cabinet requiring that one of its Ministers be brought to justice?"
And much like they are not giving up on the Senate select committee, the party is not letting up on the passport that PKM’s brother in law Peter William Dahlstrom obtained. In her report the auditor general categorized it as irregular but Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse explained why it was not, during a press conference last week.
The PUP Senators, in their press conference explained why Hulse was wrong in defending PMs Actions.
Hon. Michel Chebat - PUP Senator
"Minister Godwin Hulse on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow and his wife Kim Simplis Barrow approved the application for Belizean nationality of Peter William Dahlstrom a native of Sweden. Granting him and signing a Belize national certificate for the Prime Minister's brother in law even though he did not meet the legal qualifications as required by the nationality act. Minister Hulse most deceptively relied on Section 11-4 of the immigration act to try to legitimise his illegal action. Mr. Godwin Hulse signed the nationality certificate even though the application to it was clear that the applicant did not meet the requirement and sections of the form that were required to be checked and signed by the immigration department's vetting officers were not checked, yet Minister Hulse still signed the certificate. The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's wife would know that Peter Williams Dahlstrom was not living in Belize when he applied for nationality, never lived in Belize for a year prior to his application and is still not living in Belize. Ladies and gentlemen for all of these reasons we are calling for the following: 1. the government to revoke the passport and nationality certificate of Mr. Peter Dahlstrom along with all other fraudulent passports and nationality certificates identified in the Auditor General's special audit report. 2. Minister Godwin Hulse resigns immediately from the post of Minister of Police to allow for a fair and unbiased investigation into the findings of the Auditor General's special audit report and 3. The reinstitution of the motion in the Senate for a Senate Inquiry which is the only mechanism specifically allowed under the constitution of Belize to investigate these matters.”
"Why have you all chose to zone in on the Dahlstrom case?"
Hon. Michel Chebat - PUP Senator
"Jules I think the Dahlstrom case is very significant of what is happening in the government overall. It shows that from the very top level that there have been fraudulent actions being taken from people at the very top. And so this is a perfect example of what is going on and being sanctioned by people at the very top of the government."
Hon. Valerie Woods - PUP Senator
"The important fact also is the fact that we are now dealing with a Minister that is not just the Minister of Immigration; he's also the Minister of Police. And so even if we were to be generous and trust that a joint committee with a majority led government members in it could even dare to be fair; when it comes to having the police follow up these investigations, how can the police follow it up when one of the glaring instances involves their boss the Minister of Police? As you would a say inna Creole, rat can't mind cheese."
The PUP senators are of the opinion that Minister Hulse should resign and let the police conduct
investigations into the nationality and immigration scandal.
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