Belize Progressive Party Alleges Gerrymandering in Redistricting Process

Belize Progressive Party Alleges Gerrymandering in Redistricting Process

The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) says it is siding with the Leader of the Opposition, Moses “Shyne” Barrow, and believes the recent redistricting exercise is rife with gerrymandering. The recently leaked report has resulted in some controversy among both mainstreams political parties, but the BPP says for years it has been clamoring for voter equity. BPP Leader, Wil Maheia, says he believes the exercise was manipulated to favor the current administration. Maheia told Love News he is calling on the Election and Boundaries Commission to make changes in their final report that will be equitable to all constituencies. 

Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers: “I hear the Leader of the Opposition crying about foul play and you know he should have been crying like this 10 or 15 years ago. It’s unfortunate until it hits him now that he is crying about it but we at the BPP have been calling for voter equity for more than 10 years now for 15 or 20 years. So you know I agree with what he’s saying only that he should have been saying this 10 or 15 years ago. The whole process and we are calling, the BPP, is calling on the Elections and Boundaries Committee to really do it right. You have an opportunity to do it right right now and let’s get it right. Stop the gerrymandering because as you can see, there’s lots of gerrymandering taking place. We hope that the courts, that if it’s not right, that we go back to the court and the courts will instruct the government to do it and do it the right way. It’s not rocket science, you know ? It’s not rocket science. It could be done easily and simply but we must do it right. It’s not only for political parties, it’s for all of Belize. This is an opportunity for us, all Belizeans to have voter equity, to make it fair for voters across this nation. And also the gerrymandering is going to affect a lot of voters. Here in Toledo district we see they are moving some polling stations from east to west and west to east, which absolutely makes no sense. What we need to do is to make sure that there’s no gerrymandering taking place and then we make it easy for all Belizeans to get to the polls.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The government will argue that there was no politics at play. Do you believe that? 

Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers: “That’s absolutely false. Anybody who says that there is no politics at play is lying to the Belizean people. There’s politics at play here. You can clearly see where you take a complete different culture, like the Leader of the Opposition said, Caye Caulker and trying to stick them in Fort George, that doesn’t make any sense at all. In Toledo here, you have Bella Vista on the north side of Toledo while you have the south side of Toledo voting in the same constituency. Those voters in Bella Vista should be in Toledo West, while maybe the ones from Big Falls should be in Toledo East. So, you know.”

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