The process of selecting an NGO Senator has been haunted by criticisms of exclusivism. This is because while there are nearly 140 registered NGOs, only 29 were accepted as “in good standing” by the Attorney General’s Ministry. That’s only 15% of the amount.
And still, of the 29 organisations that were accepted, only 23 participated in the election, giving the indication that the process could have been much more inclusive and representative. Well, Senator-elect Osmany Salas does recognise that there is a problem, and he pledged that it will be one of his objectives to unite the NGO community.
Osmany Salas, NGO Senator-Elect
“We need to show that we are also transparent and accountable, there is an NGO act that we must abide by with the reform set up on that act and the company’s act as well, so what transpired Mrs. Salam and other members of the community have mentioned repeatedly is that the NGO who participated in the process were the ones who were certified in good standing to participate in this process, there were a few that maybe didn’t file their papers in time and I am a little disappointed about that for them because I would have wanted them to get involved in the process, we have mentioned repeatedly that there are 140 plus registered NGO’s and it turned out that only 29 were able to file their papers and get in good standing to be able to participate in the process now as we have mentioned several times first order of business will be to organize the community to work with them to find out why others are not in good standing and help them to get there, guys we will have to work with them, we will have to represent the entire community which covers the whole other areas, just within the 27 or 29 NGO’s that participated in this process there are huge number of areas work and needs and other issues that they represent that are represented so I would say that it is accurate to say that that small percentage contributed to making this decision but we will be representing the Senator and the structure that will be put in place will be representing the entire community of NGO’s
The NGO community with their Senator-Elect will be holding a consultation meeting at the George Price Center in Belmopan on January 24th to formulate a Terms of Reference for their and to form their Advisory Council which will provide guidance to their new Senate voice.