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Senator keeping the Re-registration issue alive

Just before the Senate was adjourned today, Senator for the None Governmental Organizations, Osmany Salas raised the issue of re-registration of electors. Senator Salas again pointed out why they feel the process is important.

NGO Senator, Osmany Salas:

“This has a direct bearing on our electoral division, our constitution stipulates provides that we shall have no less than 28 electoral divisions at this point we all know we have 31.

Amongst the 10 Belize City electoral divisions there are just about 44,000 registered electors. According to estimated census data Belize City has just over 62,000 people. What this indicates is that 71% of the Belize City population are of voting age the immediately lets me raise my eyebrows. Dangriga 6,352 registered electors of a 10,000+ population almost 62% of the population of Dangriga this is telling me are not only over 18 but registered to vote, that in itself to me and it should be to everyone here alarming. Our constitution is ample authority to the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the representation of the People’s Act refers to how often we should have reregistration it was ten, then fifteen now twenty extended yet again I just I must say that I am amazed at why among our political parties, among the other sectors represented here this hasn’t gathered more concern. The point I want to make is that we will be called sooner at some point in the not too distant future to participate in a national plebiscite, a national referendum. It is then incumbent on us that our voters list has been refreshed it’s been updated it reflects our situation now 20 years later, very long time.

Godwin Hulse: There will be registration next year as I understand it but I think he speaks to a deeper issue and that is that the disproportionate nature of our representation. This is something that Senator Courtney and I when we worked on the political reform commission tried desperately to fix in fact we had looked at a unicameral assembly with a mixed member representation proportionate representation. This comes, this is a child of the first pass the post system, one of the anomalies of the system is proper representation for each and every elector and that can only be satisfied when one decides to move to a proportional representation electoral system and preferably to this upper house.”