Senators dissect NGO amendment bill

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Updated: January 20, 2017

Senators also debated the non-governmental amendment bill. Several senators had asked the President of the Senate Lee Mark Chang to postpone the meeting until Osmany Salas is fully installed as a Senator. That request was rejected and the Senate Sitting went on as scheduled, despite an attempt from Lead Opposition Senator, Eamon Courtenay, to pass a motion to have the sitting adjourned. The NGO Bill was tabled and debated.

Senator Eamon Courtenay

“The proposed amendment is confusing at worst ambiguous at best but the one thing it does not achieve is what has been bandied about that it is necessary to make this amendment in order for Senator Salas to take his seat. Never ever could never be the language of the amendment states that no entity, and let’s stop right there because Senator Salas is not an entity, no entity other than a non-governmental organization registered under this act is entitled to either on its own or in association with any other person represent the interests of non-governmental organizations. I pause there Mr. President and say let’s break this down and understand what it is saying. No entity other than a nongovernmental organization, registered under this act; so it is speaking of an entity that is not registered under the NGO act, is entitled to by itself or in association with any other person interest of an NGO, what does that mean? You have an NGO that is registered and this provision is saying that no entity that is not registered under this act can represent its interests.”

Senator Godwin Hulse

“Interpretations are interpretations are interpretations are interpretations but my read of this goes like this: only registered NGO under this act is entitled to represent the interests of NGOs one of the interests is to elect a senator. And I read further that no entity, either on its own account or in association with another person is so entitled that is the read I have of it. I don’t know and so I see this as trying to do exactly what everybody is saying to make sure that registered NGOs and no other entity could then participate in the choosing of the Senator that is my read.”

The commencement order for the 13th Senator took effect today.