People’s National Party Praises Shyne Barrow’s Support for Redistricting Efforts

People’s National Party Praises Shyne Barrow’s Support for Redistricting Efforts

While the Belize Peace Movement has labelled the opposition leader’s support for redistricting as weak, the People’s National Party (PNP) is applauding Moses “Shyne” Barrow for his expressed support.  The third-party issued a statement today, emphasizing the importance of redistricting in ensuring elections in Belize are free and fair. PNP leader Wil Maheia, says that it was a bold move by Barrow to support the Belize PEACE Movement (BPM) in their push for redistricting, as his constituency is one of the areas that would be affected. He also called out the People’s United Party for failing to deliver on the campaign promise they made while in opposition to hold the redistricting exercise after being elected.

Wil Maheia, Leader, People’s National Party: “We are encouraged by the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition. It’s long overdue. It should have been done 15 years ago. It wasn’t done. But that’s water under the bridge. We have been trying for a couple of years now to get this done. They have been slow at getting it done. And we are glad to see that somebody finally is having, is taking it serious. And we encourage all Belizeans to take it serious. This is about equality. This is about us, Belizeans, and a flourishing democracy. So we are excited that the Leader of the Opposition has called for the redistricting and it’s not only a third-party thing, but it is a Belizean thing. Well, I believe that there is an urgent need for it to get done. You will recall just before the last election, this present government made a promise to the people of Belize that it would get done. They have been in about four years now and it still hasn’t been done. It’s not rocket science. It could be done in one day. So why hold it up? So that’s another reason why we’re excited to see the Leader of the Opposition taking that bold step. And you know, his constituents would be one of them that would suffer but for him to step out and say, hey let’s have free and fair elections, we got to give credit where it’s due. I am a candidate for Toledo East in the upcoming by-election and I just hope that Belizeans take this serious. It was his party, actually it’s more than his party it’s his father who was in government and that is one of the reason why hey you got to give the devil it’s due. We gotta give him respect. He was not even a parliamentarian at the time and no being the Leader of the Opposition and making this bold step to call to ensure that the redistricting takes place. I myself I was surprised that they didn’t go through all the motions at the last House meeting. Because we have seen before  when you want to push something through, you can get it through all three readings in one day. It happened when they wanted to push the ICJ. That motion for Belizeans to vote to go to the ICJ was pushed through in one day. All three readings took place in one day. So it’s like again, it’s not rocket science to make the divisions fair and equal, and it’s not rocket science to let the readings happen in the House and the House rule that there will be redistricting. We know that the present proposal that’s in front of the House is ridiculous and it won’t fly. I don’t expect it to fly. I don’t think any elected official in parliament on both UDP and PUP side would agree with it.”

The BPM says that holding elections with the current voter’s list is unconstitutional. The organization says it is prepared to file an injunction in the court to stop the elections if the government holds elections with the current list. The BPM recently wrote to Governor General Dame Froyla Tzalam, to use her constitutional powers and refuse to dissolve the national assembly if the government calls for election without conducting redistricting.

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