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Cabinet Approves Redistricting Exercise

Cabinet this week said that it has received an update from the Minister of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, Henry Charles Usher on the redistricting exercise. His ministry has urged that a plan be finalized and presented to Cabinet. This comes almost eight months after acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana denied the Belize Peace Movement (BPM) an injunction to delay the November elections until this redistricting exercise took place. Both the UDP Government and the then PUP Opposition argued that the Supreme Court simply did not have the jurisdiction to intervene in the case, given that by the time this injunction was sought, the National Assembly had been dissolved. The BMP had been pursuing a lawsuit since late 2019, citing the disproportionate sizes of the thirty-one constituencies. Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai explained at that time, the work her office has to do get the process completed.

For comparison, Fort George, represented by Minister Henry Charles Usher, was the smallest constituency with one thousand eight hundred seventy-six voters at the last election. Meanwhile, the largest area was Stann Creek West, represented by Minister Rodwell Ferguson, which tallied nine thousand eight hundred sixty-four voters.