By Marion Ali
The Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca has called for governance reform in order to combat poverty, corruption and inequality.
In his Independence Day address in Belmopan, Fonseca said: “True development calls for profound qualitative change, not only of the economy but also of the society. …On this Independence Day, let us embrace Governance Reform by committing to the appointment of the 13th Senator; to re-activating the Integrity Commission; and to restructuring the Public Accounts Committee.”
Fonseca reflected on the 34 years that have come and gone since 1981. He pointed out that 17 of those years have been under United Democratic Party and the other 17 years under the People’s United Party. Yet, the combined effort should be “to work together in good faith to change, improve and strengthen the failing systems and structures we have in place to govern and develop Belize.”
Fonseca, whose party has over the last decade been widely criticised for decisions it made under its 10-year rule from 1998 to 2008, elaborated on the importance of having a reformed society.
“Governance is the hallmark of a democratic, peaceful, just society and is fundamental to eradicating poverty and corruption, bringing about economic growth and social progress. It is concerned with the rules, regulations and procedures that apply to the decision making process. Decisions made in our governance systems and structures determine how the collective wealth and resources of the nation is managed and allocated and ultimately the quality of life of each and every Belizean.”