President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Osmani Salas, was elected as Belize’s new 13th senator by the NGO community on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
Twenty-three NGO’s participated in the voting process, that was held at the Belize Audubon Society office in Belize City. There were two rounds of voting; the first having six candidates that included Osmani Salas, Janelle Chanona, Edilberto Romero, Pablo Collado, Donovan Reneau and Valdemar Andrade as nominees for the seat in the Upper House of Parliament. The second voting carried the top two - Osmani and Edilberto.
“A new journey. Destination unknown, fraught with trials but rewarding to the soul,” stated Osmani on a Facebook Post. “ I was elected yesterday, and I accepted, to represent the NGO community in the Senate. It is with a deep sense of public service and humility that I embrace this new challenge in my life. I look forward to be seated at next week's Senate meeting as the representative of NGOs, whose aims and objectives are designed to contribute to sustainable human development in Belize. I also look forward to working hard to ensure that our NGO community is better organized and more united.
As a good friend has advised me, I'll take it step by step, listen and learn, follow my gut, and use my common sense. Thank you to all my family, friends and fellow Belizeans who have supported me and for the countless well wishes. Above all, thank you to my wife and daughters for their support. I wouldn't have agreed to take up this challenge otherwise. One love Belize!”
He indicated that there are over 120 NGO’s in the country that did not participate in the process and that it will be his duty to work along with those NGO’s so that he can represent the entire community in the Senate.
Salas thanked the Belize National Teacher’s Union, the Belize Business Bureau and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their efforts in pushing and making the 13 Senator a reality for Belize.