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13th Senator makes debut

Recently elected Senator, Osmany Salas made his debut this morning at a Special Sitting of the Senate in Belmopan. Senator Salas was sworn in and is representing the nongovernmental organizations. The appointment of the 13th Senator was a manifesto promised made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 2008 but it was not until last year that moves were made to have the 13th Senator fully installed. Salas said he will carry out his responsibilities to the best of his abilities.

Senator Osmany Salas

“I pledge to do my utmost best to represent the community, to work towards the sustainable human development and the development of our country for the betterment of our country. My pledge is, in addition to do my utmost best to represent our community, to help organize our NGO community so that we could be even more effective in the development work that we do. I would like to acknowledge the presence of my family, my friends, and fellow members from the NGO community who came to show their support today. I’m very appreciative of that. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the tireless efforts from our teachers, the business community for all the work that they did to ensure that today would come true and I also acknowledge the work and the support from the opposition for supporting the work of the teachers and their efforts and last but certainly not least, thank you to our Prime Minister who after a long wait, finally deciding to listen to the cries of the teachers and to sign the commencement order to ensure that today would also come. So I appreciate that.  On behalf of the NGO community, I say we appreciate that and thanks very much and I look forward to serve with the best of my abilities.”

Speaking on Salas’s position was UDP Senator Steven Duncan and Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay.

Senator Steven Duncan

“The stakes have changed, the bar has raised and the call for a thirteenth senator was premised on transparency and I think that the introduction of a thirteenth senator now requires that we have greater transparency even more so than before because of the possibility that the two major political parties will be vying for the attention of the other individual senators and will probably making attempts to woo them in order to gain a majority in the votes. That’s what the two political parties do so this Mr. President, with the changes in our chambers actually will require us to be even more vigilant because of the stakes now where people will be trying to get majority votes on issues.

Senator Eamon Courtenay

And I can assure you Senator Salas and other members, Senators on the non-government side that there will be no attempt on this side to bring any type of corruption into this chamber. We propose to make our arguments on the basis of merits and to seek to convince all the senators including the government side to our position and where we fail, we expect you all to bring compelling arguments and then perhaps we may be persuaded so we look forward to a deeper debate and to a deeper democracy

Also sworn in today was Rufino Lin of the BCCI. He replaced Mark Lizarraga for today’s Senate sitting