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BPM keeps pressure on ‘redistricting’

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

The Elections and Boundaries Commission has refused an offer of settlement by the Belize PEACE (Patriots. Engaged. Against. Corruption & Exploitation) Movement in light of the redistricting of the electoral constituencies.

It has been approximately two years that the BPM and the Elections and Boundaries Commission have been in a back and forth to settle claim 55 of 2019. The claim focuses on fixing the imbalance of political power in Belize. The BPM maintains that the constitution requires the Elections and Boundaries Commission to revisit the political divisions and correct any imbalances found.

The BPM has since requested for the redistricting of the electoral constituencies to maintain political fairness. On October 7th of this year the Honorable Chief Justice Michelle Arana directed that the legal counsels for the Claimants and the Elections and Boundaries resume negotiations to settle claim 55.

The BPM’s terms included that the Elections and Boundaries Commission acknowledge that the Electoral divisions in Belize do not have as nearly as may be equal number of persons eligible to vote, as required by the Belize Constitution. The terms further required for the commission to undertake its duty to lay before the National Assembly, a proposal to redivision Belize as mandated by the Belize Constitution. That proposal is expected by July of 2022. The last of their terms included the commission desist from conducting general elections until the divisions of Belize are made compliant with the Belize Constitution.

The Election and Boundaries rejected that proposal and did not present a counter-offer. Consequently, the claimants have moved to bring the matter before the court for a formal judgement.

In a brief interview with the Reporter, BPM Treasurer, Paul Morgan, who is also on the legal committee for the case, mentioned, “They didn’t make any counter offer. It is only a matter of stalling. I don’t know what their tactic is and I won’t impugn improper motive, but the fact is that they have not made any counter offer for something that is clearly an unconstitutional situation. So, since they have not, the process is that we now go to the court and the court will make a decision as to whether it will call a trial or try something different.”

Morgan confirmed that the movement is now awaiting a response from the court in hopes that the case is settled expeditiously. He added that BPM will continue to pursue the matter until the requirements of the Constitution have been met.

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