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Jul 26, 2011

Former P.M. gives his view on 9th Constitutional Amendment

Said Musa

The proposed Ninth Constitutional Amendment was crafted to take action, in this case, to protect government’s usurping of B.E.L. and Telemedia from private ownership.  The extent of that proposed law, however, would dangerously place beyond dispute any future amendments to the Constitution which will no longer be exposed to review in the courts.  The piece of legislation is far reaching and once passed, will impose directly on the fundamental freedoms of every Belizean including their rights to life and liberty.  Former Prime Minister Said Musa, who was instrumental in the drafting of the Constitution of Belize, has weighed in his legal opinion on the matter.  Musa strongly believes that the passage of that law would pave the way for a centralized and dictatorial state contrary to the democratic foundation of the nation.

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister

“You know, I listened to the Prime Minister in the House when he tried to limit or give the rationale for this amendment to say Oh it was to deal with a case decided by the former Chief Justice which was challenging the right of the legislature to make an amendment if it sort of goes against the grain of the Constitution. Im just paraphrasing now.  Well it does, this amendment goes farther than that, this amendment is just what I said.  It is saying you cannot challenge any amendment to the Constitution on the grounds that its unconstitutional; for instance, or that its unlawful or void.  Once we comply with our three fourths supermajority and pass it.  And that to me is a frightening situation that has developed in our country that the Prime Minister and his government believes that they have to go to this extent to what I would call not only eroding the rights and freedoms of our people but to remove the very substrata, the structure, the essence of what it means when our Constitution talks about the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to security of the person and so on.”

Isani Cayetano

“If a subsequent government were to take office can this either be repealed or re-amended, so to speak?”

Said Musa

“Only if you have the three-fourths majority to do it because this is entrenching the very amendment itself, the very unconstitutional amendment to my mind.  But its entrenching it.  I would think that even before that that this law may have to be challenged in a court of law to find out whether or not it is constitutional because I have my serious doubts as to whether it is constitutional.  In fact I strongly believed at this time having looked at it over the last few days more and more that it goes way beyond what is required even if you just want to ensure that for instance that the acquisition of B.T.L. and B.E.L. remains with government majority.  It goes way beyond that.  It goes now to our fundamental rights and freedoms and that is why I believe it should be challenged.  Because if we accept this then were pretty much accepting that there is a need for us to move to a totalitarian state as opposed to a democratic state.  It is as bad as that. Every single provision in this Constitution is designed within a democratic framework and an essential part of that democratic framework is what lawyers call the Rule of Law, you know.  The people are hearing a lot lately about the Rule of law.  What does that mean?  It means first of all that no man, no person in this country is above the law, not the Governor General, not the Prime Minister, no one.  It means also and this comes after years, hundreds of years of evolution that this democracy requires one: that the government must be elected by the people in free and fair elections.  It also means that that government should go back to a periodic test, if you like, in our case every five years for the people to decide whether they want to keep that government or not.  It also means that the framework of the system requires a check and balance system.”

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6 Responses for “Former P.M. gives his view on 9th Constitutional Amendment”

  1. Lucas says:

    I believe that govt. exist to provide the people with protection and with the opportunity of a better life. By putting its actions beyond the possibility of being challenged in court, govt. is denying the very purpose of its’ existence. I am not a communist but, a SOCIALIST. I believe in the spirit of nationalization but I also believe in the RULE OF LAW. If Mr. Barrow is a true democrate as he says he is and, if this govt. listens as it claims to do; then Mr. Prime Minister, do as you did with the proposed 8th amendment. For the tranquility of our beloved Belize and for the peace of mind of our Belizean people, I beg you.

  2. Justice says:

    While I want barrow stooped in his tracks of ruining Belize further, I have no respect for Musa either. Fonseca and him raped our country as well. I wish both of them would take a backseat and allow the vibrant new members to try and bring back Belize to the jewel it was. Of the three evild barrow is the worst!

  3. Natasha says:

    Justice, your ignorance should be pitied. FOCUS please on the issue. Barrow is creating a totalitarian government and making himself a dictator. He is taking away our freedom and our liberty. He is setting us back decades of progress and prosperity. But most importantly, he is playing on ignorance like yours to make it seem ‘all ok’ because mistakes were made by the last government. FOCUS PLEASE

  4. Steve (Dual Citizen) says:

    I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating…Next time around let’s NOT GET FOOLED AGAIN! Red or Blue, throw them out of office and vote for anyone that understands that a country of less than 350,000, without currency traded on the world market, AND very few sustainable resources cannot continue to run up debts that they can’t pay. Stop asking the local reps for favors and start wondering what it would be like if we could start paying our own way and making our government responsible for their own actions.

  5. subKonshus says:

    PM Musa apparently stole 20 million US from the people of Belize (which we got back)….PM Barrow will definitely take away your rights to freedom…Bob Marley once said, “Life is worth much more than Gold.” Basically the Belizean populace traded in their lives to get back their gold. All those die hard UDP supporters must be feeling real stupid right now….

  6. I Have Awaken says:

    Steve (Dual Citizen) you are very wrong about Belize having few sustainable resources, our oil alone could have paid off all our debts already, after that invest heavily in sustainable, veblen tourism product, make it easier for local businesses to pay off their debts to the greedy banks and transfer over the DFC for SME and establish other loan bodies for larger investments, have these loan establishments become partners in these businesses; because it shouldn’t be that only foreigners can be able to invest in Belize, which it is right now due to the fact they have access to cheap capital. After that invest heavily in our infrastructure, and I mean heavily, education make it FREE until College, we can’t have Belizean students graduating in debt, like in the USA. There are so many things that can be done, but there is no will power from our leaders, except to enrich themselves.

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