Constitutional Concerns Arise as Belize Prepares for General Elections

Constitutional Concerns Arise as Belize Prepares for General Elections

As Belize gears up for the impending General Elections, a crucial constitutional matter has emerged, stirring concerns among the Belizean public and highlighting potential threats to democratic governance.  In a letter addressed to the Office of the Governor-General, stakeholders have raised alarm regarding the constitutional provisions for the Prorogation and dissolution of the Legislature, and for General Elections, citing Sections 84 and 85 of the Belize Constitution.  The letter draws attention to a significant development dating back to November 11, 2022, when the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the Claimants in Case 55 of 2019 reached a Court Perfected Consent Order. This order acknowledged the severe malapportionment among electoral divisions in Belize and the necessity for redistricting to ensure fair representation, a fundamental aspect of democratic governance.  However, despite the Consent Order, which mandated the Commission to present reasonable proposals for redistricting to the National Assembly, stakeholders allege a clear material breach by the Commission/Defendants. This breach has led the Claimants to return to the High Court for enforcement of the Order, further complicating the situation.  The letter urges the Governor-General to exercise vigilance and discretion in the event of a dissolution advisory from the Prime Minister. Under Section 84 of the Belize Constitution, the Governor-General possesses the authority to refuse a dissolution if it is deemed not in the best interests of the country’s governance.  In the face of uncertainty, stakeholders fervently call upon the Governor-General to uphold the rule of law and protect Belizean democracy from any potential executive overreach or disregard for legal processes. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

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