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BPM Letter to Hon Johnny Briceno-1

BPM updates the leaders of the political parties on the redistricting case

The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) has written to the leader-elect of the UDP, Patrick Faber, and the party leader of the PUP, John Briceno, to apprise them of the current status of the redistricting case that is before the court. The case deals with the way electoral constituencies should be drawn, in an effort to make them nearly as equal.

The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) has written to the leader-elect of the UDP, Patrick Faber, and the party leader of the PUP, John Briceno, to apprise them of the current status of the redistricting case that is before the court. The case deals with the way electoral constituencies should be drawn, in an effort to make them nearly as equal. According to BPM’s letter, the present comportment of electoral divisions varies considerably, to the extent that electors in constituencies vary from 1500 to 8700 electors. This disproportionate make up of the electoral constituencies has been apparent for a number of years and has led to a dysfunctional and inequitable system of democratic governance which in turn has led to substandard performance and significant underachievement of human developmental potential particularly in the various constituencies that are grossly underrepresented. They also stated that this adverse electoral mal-apportionment has not gone without notice. The Electoral Advisory Mission of The OAS in its final report for the 2012 General Elections of Belize recommended that, quote, “In order to address the discrepancies in electoral divisions, particularly the over-representation of Belize City in the National Assembly, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission encourages the Elections and Boundaries Commission to carry out a boundary redistricting process. Such a process should strive to draw electoral divisions that, in so far as is practicable, represent an equal number of voters so as to comply with the Belize constitution and to ensure the composition of the National Assembly accurately reflects the country’s demographics.” End quote. The Supreme Court case resumes on 24 July, 2020 at which time the Court will consider the application by an interested party for the engagement of an expert witness. The BPM is hoping that the case is able to conclude before general elections are held, or else will lead to, quote, “another five years of unfair representation.” End quote.