Many social partners are weighing in on the Government’s proposed appointments to key commissions. Thus far, former Belmopan Mayor Anthony Chanona is expected to chair the People’s Constitution Commission and former Ambassador Moises Cal is the Government’s choice to head the Public Service Commission. PSU President Dean Flowers has already criticised the Government for the latter but the Belize National Teachers’ Union has not yet arrived at a position. National President, Senator Elena Smith told Love News today that they will decide after internal consultation.
Senator Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: “In terms of the Public Service Commission, we have not had a discussion with the PSU because that is something that they would be better able to share with us. You know, their concerns. So that is what will have to happen. We’ll have to hear from Brother Dean as to what their concerns are to be able to say whether we agree with them or we support their position. In terms of Mr. Chanona, again, we haven’t had those discussions as to what are the merits or demerits of his appointment. People might say that that is something political but at the end of the day, our teachers’ pension documents for the other party, for the Public Service Commissions goes there. In terms of the People’s Constitution Committee, we have to ensure that our voices are heard on that committee and we have a rep. there. But we have to ensure that the process is fair. It is not political. It is not partisan and that whatever it is that the people of this nation want to see being dealt with in terms of our Constitution review, that those are dealt with. So that person has to be somebody that we all have confidence in. So while we have not discussed the matter, it’s a matter that we will have to look at when we next meet as a council of management.”
Back in 2007, Cal was held by Panamanian authorities at an airport in that country with roughly a million U.S. dollars in cash. However, Cal left Panama before he was questioned and was not criminally charged. Prime Minister John Briceno defended his administration’s decision to nominate Cal to the post, which was previously held by former Minister Charles Gibson.