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Valerie Woods appointed as Speaker of the House of Representatives

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Posted: Friday, December 11, 2020. 10:24 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: After being proposed by Prime Minister John Briceno and Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, Valerie Woods has been unanimously elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, following Sylvia Flores, Elizabeth Zabaneh and Laura Longsworth as women in the role.

After taking the Chair, the new Speaker lectured her fellow parliamentarians about their and her role in the new National Assembly.

Citing incidents involving parliamentarians in past years, Woods stated that she will not hesitate to enforce the rules of decorum, but asked Government and Opposition to be respectful and to make the House more open and welcoming, stating that the past behavior of members has left much to be desired and expressed the hope that a new Parliament would restore that respect and dignity desired by those its members represent.

Marconi Leal, Sr., area representative for Belize Rural North, has been elected Deputy Speaker.

In a departure from tradition, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were sworn in followed by members of the Government and Opposition together, rather than separately.

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