The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) has written to the recently installed Chairman of the Election and Boundaries Commission, Estevan Perera, requesting that he initiates the redistricting of electoral divisions immediately. A copy of the letter was forwarded to our newsroom reflecting the basis of their request for an immediate redistricting. Those points are that (1) the current electoral divisions do not have as nearly as may be an equal number of persons eligible to vote, as required by the Belize Constitution. (2) Specifically, such a state of affairs is contrary to Section 1 of the Belize Constitution to the extent that it undermines the practice of democracy, subjecting all Belizeans to unfair representation; and (3) the government of Belize must be precluded from relying on the currently defined electoral divisions to conduct General Elections in Belize until all 31 divisions accord with the Belize Constitution. Love News spoke with BPM’s leader, Bobby Lopez who explained that the matter has been dragging on in the court system.
According to Lopez, time constraints should not be an excuse to not get the process done before the elections.
Bobby Lopez, Leader, Belize Peace Movement: “There are a number of people that have a parcel of land, the occupy a parcel of land either in a village, either a house lot or agriculture but for some reason or the other it’s not legal it’s not regularized. So that when we look at the system at the lands department you would find that the system would show that it’s government land, when you physically go out there there would be a house or there would be crops cultivated on said land. So people in communities own that land by name and so what we wanted to do is basically for people to have an opportunity to legalize the land that they were occupying.
Reporter: How many people or how many families have benefited from this initiative ?
Bobby Lopez, Leader, Belize Peace Movement: “I don’t have the exact numbers but I could tell you that from when we started we have approximately three thousand or four thousand people that were affected in this. As I said it’s just because of COVID-19 that everything had to come to a halt and this is an initiative that I think going forward would have to be instituted in order for us to be more efficient in producing the land documents that many people wish to have.”
The redistricting court matter resumes at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon.