Home Latest News Lionel Arzu reappointed as Ombudsman

Lionel Arzu reappointed as Ombudsman

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Lionel Arzu was reappointed as the Ombudsman of Belize. His reappointment to the post had been delayed after his one year contract was not renewed at the start of 2018. However, on Friday Prime Minister Dean Barrow reappointed Arzu for a further term of one year.

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“Mr. Speaker this is the appointment of the Ombudsman Motion. I move whereas Section 3/2 of the Ombudsman Act provides that the Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Governor General acting on the recommendations of both houses of the National Assembly. Whereas Mr. Lionel Arzu poses the relevant qualifications now therefore be it resolved that this Honorable House – being satisfied that Mr. Lionel Arzu is a fit and proper person to be appointed by Ombudsman recommends to the Governor General that Mr. Lionel Arzu be appointed as Ombudsman for a period of one year with effect from 1st April 2018 in accordance with the provision of the Ombudsman Act.”

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“Mr. Speaker I just want to point out to the Prime Minister that according to the Act it points out on 4.1 it says ‘subject to provisions of this section any one person appointed at utmost must hold the office for a period of three years.’ and you are recommending one year. The act is saying for three you’re saying one- so is there a reason why that is if that law is calling for three years?”

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“No. The law is saying that you can go as high as three but we just think that in the circumstances one year is adequate, it gives you a chance to examine with your usual very close and exacting scrutiny, the performance of the ombudsman during that year and then we can come back and reappoint if you are happy.”

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“So that means you will call elections next year or something?

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“Me? Not me, you all will have to decide.”

Arzu was first appointed Ombudsman in 2013.

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