Belize Peace Movement Criticizes Opposition’s Redistricting Stance as Inadequate

Belize Peace Movement Criticizes Opposition’s Redistricting Stance as Inadequate

The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) has doubled down on labeling the opposition’s stance on the redistricting report as weak and not genuine. Yesterday, the LOO rebutted the BPM’s initial criticism of the United Democratic Party’s lack of support for the redistricting exercise. The BPM believes that the opposition supports the unconstitutionality of the voters’ list and unequal electoral divisions. Today, BPM’s spokesperson, Robert Lopez, echoed the organization’s sentiments and responded to Barrow’s statements. 

Robert Lopez, Belize Peace Movement Representative: “There’s a little saying that says, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words. And so we welcome his better late than never support of redistricting, but we wanna say that now actions are necessary. He makes reference, the Leader of the Opposition makes reference to being disgusted and disappointed that the bill was not read through all its stages on that day. Well, he could have spoken on adjournment and made that sentiment recorded in the House on that day. You see, at the end of going through everything that was to be debated and bills for that day anyone in the House is allowed to get up and speak on adjournment. And so he could have shared his disgust and disappointment on that particular issue. But he did not. It wasn’t until we in the peace movement called out the Opposition for being very silent. He nor his colleagues on that side of the House had anything to say. And we know for the record that the United Democratic Party since 2012 has been opposed to redistricting. They were asked to do it by the Organization of American States election observer mission to have it done by 2015 and they did nothing and they did nothing even when we attempted to bring it to court in 2015 and then again in 2019 they did nothing instead what do they do they fight ordinary citizens.”

Lopez says the BPM is now calling for the resignation of the Elections and Boundaries Commission and stated that if the opposition is genuine in its support for the exercise, the LOO will support the call. 

Robert Lopez, Belize Peace Movement Representative: “It means nothing until we see action, until we see him taking action. And here is one thing he can do. He can do this right now because we call for the resignation of everyone on the commission because what they produce in that proposal is hogwash. It doesn’t meet the constitution and needed to have been sent back. And they’ve sat on it for 10 months. So what the Leader of the Opposition can do is immediately recall his two appointees, commissioners on the commission, and put somebody else who will do the job. And we call on the prime minister to do the same, to do the same because that is a constitutional body. It should have, once they are put together, they should have autonomy to do the job to the best of their ability without any political control or influence or anything. And so really what we need to see is a new commission. A new commission that will do the job and will fix the problem before the next sitting of the House, before the next elections is called, sorry. And so that’s what we want to see.”

Lopez noted that he believes the support of the everyday man and woman is needed to force the government’s hand.

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