The matter of re-registration and redistricting has come up time and time again but to date there has been no move in getting the process started. While the BNTU is calling for it and has stated that both parties are playing politics on the matter, Leader of the Opposition begged to differ.
“Well I don’t know how he would say that we are playing politics with it when we have been demanding for re registration. We stand with them that we believe that there must be re registration before redistricting for several reasons but I will give you two. One, now we know that there exists the possibility that people that should not be on that list, are on that list. But secondly and just as important how can you redistrict and you don’t know where the people are registered. It is obvious what the UDP wants to do. They want to redistrict the constituencies and then they are going to pad these constituencies. We have that problem in Belize Rural South, in Mesopotamia, we have it in Queen Square, in Collet, in Cayo West, in Cayo Central, in Cayo NorthEast and Belmopan and a few others but these are the worst offenders and that is why the UDP wants to protect that. They want to go to the next election next year for the municipal elections in March of 2018 with this very same list because they know they have an inherent advantage so that they can win the next municipal elections and some are speculating that they might even have a double election in 2018. That is why they are fighting to protect that list and I want to make it clear that we must have reregistration before we can do any redistricting exercise.”
Stemming from the need to have all eligible voters re-register, comes the issue of an invalid elections results as was explained by Briceno earlier today. The idea of the two previous elections being invalid comes out of the Senate inquiries where former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan noted that many applications for nationality were incomplete subsequently making the persons unqualified.
“I think we need to address the number one issue; the issue of reregistration. It has come to light, we had exposed it in the house in December and now we have the former Director of Immigration that has admitted that there could have been voter fraud in the 2012 election. Now we got a copy of the two thousand plus names and we did a quick analysis on that. We have only managed to gone through one thousand three hundred and seventy-one names so far but there are two divisions that we want to bring to your attention. In Cayo Northeast we lost by seventeen votes. Of the one thousand three hundred and seventy-one votes of the people that were naturalized during that short period, that four month period, we have found out seventy one names already that voted in that election. In Cayo Northeast. Seventy-one. When in Cayo Northeast we lost it by seventeen votes. We you look also at Cayo Central, we lost Cayo Central by forty four votes. Of the one thousand three hundred seventy-one names we have gone through so far we have found out that they had sixty six of those questionable nationalities who registered and voted in that election. So if those sixty six persons did not vote, the People’s United Party would have been in government right now. This is an illegitimate government and that is why we are saying along with the teacher’s union there must be reregistration before any redistricting and we are calling on the Council of Churches and we are meeting with them, with the Chamber of Commerce, with the Belize Business Bureau, the non-government senators and all the NGOs. We will talk to them and give them proof why this is an illegitimate government and that before they do any redistricting, we must clean up the roles. We must have reregistration. ”
Briceno noted that there are works being done to see if any legal recourse can be had on the previous elections results.
“We have right now our Deputy Party Leader for the East, Honorable Kareem Musa, he is working on that. He has a small team that is working and looking on those issues, the issue of these people who had questionably gotten their nationalities, to the issue of the actual fraud in the voters list, reregistration, redistricting and I am sure in the very near future we are going to be able to definitively explain what are going to be the next steps the party is going to take.”
If the reregistration process is carried out, it would more than likely create additional electoral divisions as the law stipulates that each division must be balanced in terms of the number of persons in each area.