By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Senator representing the private sector Mark Lizarraga called out the Senate during Thursday’s sitting for “failing miserably to perform our most basic obligations,” as mandated by Belize’s constitution.
“We are suffering from an urgent crisis of the erosion of public confidence in governance,” Lizarraga said.
He noted that the Senate has yet to review any Auditor General report including that of the Immigration Department audit, and said that they have not called anyone to report on any of the numerous government scandals.
“When will we begin to do our work? When will we cease to fail our Belizean people that pay us to be here?” Lizarraga questioned.
The senator cited portions of the Political Reform Commission report which stated, “The House and even more so, the Senate serves largely as rubber stamps for Cabinet decisions.”
The report goes on to state: “It is easy to translate the will of the Executive into legislation by having built in majorities in both the House of Representative and the Senate, and practically every government board or council.”
Lizarraga called on the leader for government business in the Senate, Godwin Hulse, to support the process of reform and “to continue to champion that which he championed and contributed so much to in the past.”
Lizarraga also called for the 13th senator to be instituted since the enabling legislation was passed six-years ago and never brought into effect.
Senator Lizarraga questioned why that was the case when the addition of a 13th senator would ensure meaningful oversight.
Lizarraga emphasized that if the senate were left to perform its true role, our country, our laws and our assets would be managed far better.