Vice President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Adelieda Guerra, was sworn in this morning as the temporary Senator for the unions. This came after Senator Ray Davis left the country without notifying the NTUCB of his departure. We have been reliably informed that the NTUCB had called an emergency meeting in order to quickly vote for a replacement for today’s Senate Meeting. Six of the ten unions were represented and according to the Constitution of Belize, quote “Whenever a Senator is incapable of performing his functions as a Senator by reason of his absence from Belize or by virtue of the provisions of section 64 of this Constitution or by reason of a declaration made under the last foregoing subsection, the Governor-General may appoint a person qualified for appointment as a Senator to be temporarily a member of the Senate”. The Bills brought from the House of Representatives include the Petrocaribe Loans (Amendment) Bill, Cruise Ship Passenger Tax Bill and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Bill, General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation (No.2) and the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2015. At the last Sitting of the House of Representatives, the People’s United Party, walked out after the Speaker of the House ordered the removal of PUP Senator Jason Patrick Andrews, well today Senator Andrews was back in the House. The Petrocaribe Loans (Amendment) Bill was strongly debated by all parties.
PUP Senator, Lisa Shoman called for a division of vote on the bill and there was a 7-5 margin. The three PUP senators, along with Lizzarraga and Guerra voted against the bill while, Senator Godwin Hulse, the five UDP Senators and Senator Father Noel Leslie, representing the churches, voted in favor of the Bill.