Belize Peace Movement Pushes for Redistricting Ahead of 2025 Elections

Belize Peace Movement Pushes for Redistricting Ahead of 2025 Elections

Will the country’s political landscape change or will it remain the same? That’s the question being asked by the Belize Peace Movement (BPM) after it battled in court for the redistricting exercise to take place. The BPM is clamoring for the venture to be done before the general elections in 2025 and believes that the government is dragging its feet with the matter. However, according to the Minister of Political and Constitutional Reform, Henry Charles Usher, the exercise requires meticulous studies that cannot be done overnight. 

Henry Charles Usher, PUP Chairman: “When you interpret legislation, especially the constitution, if it says shall but there’s only one interpretation there must be 31 seats. And then to have a follow-up section say there may be 28 to 31. That in and of itself is a contradiction. And then as to the authority of the Commission, it looks at the total population not the voting population. So we had to wait to see what the census was going to come out with. It speaks about that they can look at the boundaries of the existing 31 seats and if they feel that they should add seats they needed the approval of the National Assembly. It doesn’t say anywhere in there if they felt that they can remove seats. So I think that needs to be specified because there is a process to add seats but there is no written definitive process to remove a seat. To say we want to remove this particular constituency or amalgamate it into another constituency. So when there was a lot of talk about, “oh, they’re going to remove this seat and that seat.” the first question I asked was, where do you get that authority? Can you show me in the constitution where it says that you can remove a seat? Because in the constitution it says, if the commission feels that they want to add a seat then they have to get the approval of the National Assembly.”

Rene Villanueva Sr, Host, The Morning Show: “So it affects redistricting?”

Henry Charles Usher, PUP Chairman: “Absolutely.”

Last year, a leaked report surfaced from the Redistricting Task Force, but it is yet to be presented to the National Assembly.

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