Parliamentary activity resumes this Friday when the first session of the thirteenth National Assembly is opened. The inaugural sitting of the Senate, for ceremonial purposes, will precede the first meeting of the House of Representatives under the Briceño Administration. Thirteen senators have been appointed to the upper house, including seven from the newly formed People’s United Party government, three from the Opposition and three social partners. They are Eamon Courtenay as Leader for Government Business, Christopher Coye, Collet Montejo, Isabel Bennett, Ericka John and Bevin Cal for the P.U.P. For the United Democratic Party there is Sheena Pitts, Michael Peyrefitte and Aldo Salazar. For the social partners there is Kevin Herrera for the business community, Bishop Moses Benguche for the Council of Churches, Elena Smith for the unions and Osmany Salas for the N.G.O.s. News Five understands that Carolyn Trench-Sandiford will be named President of the Senate. In the House of Representatives, former senator Valerie Woods, who is also the newly elected chair of Caribbean Women in Leadership, will be named as House Speaker. This afternoon, Opposition Leader Patrick Faber formally introduced the U.D.P. senators in a virtual press conference.

Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition

“I am pleased to announce that Mr. Michael Peyrefitte, Ms. Sheena Pitts and Mr. Aldo Salazar have been recommended to His Excellency The Governor General of Belize to be appointed senators of the government, to sit in the House of the Senate. I will announce at this time that it is our intention at a later date, by March I believe, to make a change in this appointment or these appointments and to appoint at a later time in March, thereabout, Mr. Khalid Belisle who is not able to take on the appointment today as he is the current Mayor of Belmopan. Khalid will finish his duties as mayor and upon finishing those duties I will advise the Governor General of the change. And in that same vein I wish to say a great big thank you to Senator Aldo Salazar who is with us today and who has agreed to take on the appointment temporarily and, as you know, Aldo has served in fact as a part of the senate before. He is well-seasoned and in fact somebody whom this party is very proud to call one of its own. Aldo has agreed to take on the temporary appointment until Khalid is freed up from his duties as mayor to take on the senate position.”

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