BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 5, 2016–The three Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) senators, Michel Chebat, Valarie Woods and Paul Thompson, briefed the media this afternoon on the possible option that they will follow in the wake of the voting down of their motion for the appointment of a Senate Select Committee at last Wednesday’s sitting of the Senate.
The PUP senators have zeroed in on the nationality certificate that Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, who is also Leader of Government Business, signed on behalf of the Prime Minister’s wife’s brother-in-law, Peter William Dahlstrom, who, according to the Auditor General in her Special Audit Report, did not qualify for Belizean nationality.
Senator Chebat, who is holding over for Senator Eamon Courtenay, said that there are mandatory requirements for a person to qualify for Belizean nationality.
They will call on the government to revoke the passport and nationality certificate issued to Peter William Dahlstrom, the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Barrow’s wife, Kim Simplis Barrow
Senator Chebat said that Dahlstrom, who is a citizen of Switzerland and was living in London, England, at the time of his application, did not meet the legal requirement for Belizean nationality.
Dahlstrom submitted a nationality application, although he did not reside in Belize and had never resided in Belize at the time of his application. “He stated at the time of his application that he wanted to live in Belize in the future,” Senator Chebat said.
Minister Hulse stated at the Prime Minister’s press conference that Mr. Dahlstrom met the requirement for nationality because he was married for over 20 years to a Belizean. Hulse also said that Gian Gandhi, a deceased government attorney, advised him that Dahlstrom qualified, but he never provided any proof of Gandhi’s legal advice.
Minister Hulse relied on Section 11 of the Immigration Act.
At the time of his application, however, Dahlstrom did not meet the requirement, Senator Chebat said, adding that both Minister Hulse and Prime Minister Barrow knew that Dahlstrom never lived in Belize for a year, as the law requires.
Senator Chebat called on the government to revoke Peter William Dahlstrom’s nationality, and called for Minister Godwin Hulse to resign immediately from the post of Minister of Police to allow for a fair and balanced investigation into the Auditor General’s Special Report and for the re-institution of the motion in the Senate for a Senate inquiry, which, Chebat said, is the only mechanism provided for by the Constitution of Belize to investigate these matters.
Senator Valerie Woods said that no government can investigate itself, and urged Belizeans to sign the petition for the Senate to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Report.
“Six government ministers cannot investigate a scandal of this size. It is only us, as a people, who can put some pressure to use the mechanism that has worked in the past,” Senator Woods said.
On Wednesday morning, the PUP will take to the streets of Belize City in a massive protest to “Save Belize.”