Kindly allow me space in your valuable newspaper to draw attention to the Governor General, Minister Dean O. Barrow and those advocating a 13th Senator. I personally opined that the stipulation is repetitive and redundant.
Section 61 of the Constitution stipulates that the Senate composition shall be as follows:
1. 6 to be nominated by the Government
2. 3 by the Opposition Party in Parliament
3. 1 by the Belize Council of Churches
4. 1 by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry
5. 1 by the National Trade Union Congress
6. 1 by non-governmental organizations
In analyzing the definition of government, I opined that the opposition, listed in Item 2, is “technically” non-governmental and legally those in Items 3, 4 and 5 are non-governmental; therefore, alluding to the nomination of a 13th Senator by non-governmental organizations is not only repetitive but, redundant.
Three to four weeks ago, I bought from “Print Belize” in Belmopan another copy of the Belize Constitution “as in force on March 1, 2012”. Upon reading on page 69 about the makeup of the Senate, I was astounded to see that there is absolutely “NO” provision for the nomination of a 13th Senator. I called Print Belize and I was told that, that was what they got from the National Assembly.
That portion of the Constitution states: Section 61- (1) Subject to subsection (2) the Senate shall consist of twelve members (not 13) in this Constitution referred to as Senators who shall be appointed by the Governor General in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) If any person who is not a Senator is selected to be President of the Senate he shall, by virtue of holding the office of President, be a Senator in addition to the twelve referred to in subsection (1).
If a 13th Senator is nominated as is now in demand and resolved by the Prime Minister and, let’s say that the future possibility exists for the implementation of Item (2) above, the Senate will then be made up of not 13 but, 14 Senators which would be in contravention of the Constitution unless amended.
I would like some feedback.
Adolphus A. Rosales