An application to postpone the general elections has been filed in the Belize Supreme Court. The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) submitted the application on Tuesday, October 13 asking for an interim injunction. Today, their hearing for their Injunction was granted for October 28. The BPM has been pushing for a redistricting exercise for some time now and had been clamoring for it to take place before the next general elections. In its application this week, the BPM requested that they are given a quick hearing, adding that should the next general election occur prior to redistricting it would be going against the constitution which requires apportioned divisions. The Chairman of the BPM, Robert “Bobby” Lopez added that if the elections proceed it could be deemed constitutionally invalid.
Robert “Bobby” Lopez, Treasurer, Belize Peace Movement: “With the calling of a date for the next general election and our case not having been fully ventilated in the Supreme Court it left us no other recourse but to go ahead and file the interim injunction to so that our case can be heard first and so that was done on Tuesday. We have not received a date for when the hearing of the injunction is going to take place and so we’re waiting for that any moment now we may even know that today, it is with the CJ. We understand that this is a very serious matter and we take it very seriously and so we’re waiting for the hearing date to be set but yes we paid and we filed those documents with the court on Tuesday. We’re reminding the Elections and Boundaries Commission and all of their officers that the way the malapportionment exists currently in all thirty one constituencies that this cannot be used to hold a general election. It violates section 91 which says that they should all be nearly as equal in numbers of persons eligible to vote and so this is a prerequisite for holding a legitimate, a constitutional election and so we keep reminding Belizeans especially that we live in a constitutional democracy and the case that we have is a constitutional case therefore we should respect the constitution and while all parties, I’m referring to the mass parties, do accept there does exist that malapportionment they’re falling back on the point that there isn’t enough time, that they have spent a lot of money in their campaign but nothing can trump the constitution. This is the laws the govern our country and elections are the bedrock, free and fair equal elections are the bedrock of any democracy so we’re insisting that our case be heard first, a decision be made by the judge and then whatever the judge decides well then we take the next step after that but we cannot enter into an election the way the malapportionment of constituencies currently exists- it would violate the constitutional. Blatantly violate the constitution.”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had announced over a year ago that while his administration supports the idea but there was not a budget to have it conducted.