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Aug 4, 2011

Chamber explains why it tells GOB to withdraw the 9th Amendment

Vanessa Peyrefitte

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday sent out one of its strongest releases, condemning government’s proposed ninth amendment to the constitution.  The proposed bill intends to alter the constitution, thus enabling government to supersede the role of the courts to what the Chamber calls parliamentary supremacy. The Chamber’s position was explained today by the Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Vanessa Peyrefitte.

Vanessa Peyrefitte, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, BCCI

“The ninth amendment bill would give the legislature absolute authority to amend the constitution as long as they have a two-thirds, three-fourths majority plus follow special procedural requirements of section sixty-nine of the constitution. Now what does that really mean? It means then that once the ninth amendment bill is passed into law, any subsequent bill after that that is passed on whichever topic or whatever the government wants to do; as long as they have two-thirds or three-quarter majority and follow these procedural requirements under section sixty-nine of the constitution, it will become law. And at this point I want to read to you just a little snippet of that amendment. It says here, “…and the law passed by the National Assembly to alter any of the provisions of this constitution which is passed in conformity with this section shall not be open to challenge in any court of law on any ground whatsoever.” That’s why that is the first reason. The second reason is that we will be moving from constitutional supremacy to parliamentary supremacy. Constitutional supremacy means that the constitution is the bedrock for Belize—it’s the be all and the end all. We’re gonna move from that to parliamentary supremacy. the chamber objects to the use of S.S.B. funds, which is our public money—I pay social security and I am sure you do too—will be used as government shares in the in public utility companies. Now the track record has shown that political interference with the S.S.B. funds has been a detriment to the fund and as a result of that what happened in the last administration, the social partners—I think it was in 2005—lobbied for a more transparent process that would have more accountability. And to move the fund away from political hands or political interference. So the government just saying; guess what we’ll be using these funds and we’ll be investing them in whichever company we want to invest it in is moving away from that hard one process that the stakeholders lobbied for.”

The Bar Association, Senators and attorneys have also come out against the proposed ninth amendment. It is expected that the churches will also take a position on this hot button issue.

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7 Responses for “Chamber explains why it tells GOB to withdraw the 9th Amendment”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    Who do we keep focusing on this useless law.When more Belizean Citizens have been murdered since it’s implimentation?Please stop distracting the Belizean people from the main issues which are crimes and unemployment.Drastic times call for drastic measures.To hell with the human rights,what about the victim’s rights?who is defending that?Belizeans are been slaughtered while you all keep bsing with this bill.

  2. Abe says:

    Good, now we know what the 9th etc etc is all about lets get it going!! It sounds so positive. These people that are against it are just amplifying trivial things to make it sound so terrible.!!! Ridiculous!! This is a good change for a fast changing Belize toward the positive

  3. Tim says:

    abe, you moron.. u don’t understand what the hell is the 9th amendment.. u must be follower of dictator barrow.. nuff said.. do ur research or when the hard ball hits, it’s going to be too late.. wait and see..

  4. Maverick says:

    Interesting that the speculation in this article is that the Church will oppose the 9th Amendment. If the UNIBAM case goes to court and the Appeal Court judge hears it, he will most likely rule in favor of UNIBAM, despite the outcome that the people (In this case represented by the Church) would want to see happen. UNIBAM’s next step, no doubt, will be to push for recognized same sex unions, following the US lobby. I do not believe that the Church would want to leave those types of decisions up to a Court, would they?

  5. Maverick says:

    In the greatest democracy in the world, the US Constitution begins with the preamble “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    It is the People, represented in that instance by the Founding Fathers (their Government) that established the constitution, and that inserted mechanisms to amend the constitution under Article V, requiring a 3/4′s majority, and those rules in no way refer to the Courts as having any say over those amendments.

    I did not vote for the Judges, and I do not believe that a court, presided over by one man, possibly a foreigner in a foreign land, should question the fundamental rules put in place, and amended from time to time, that the people we elect to act in our interest.

  6. SW@GVILLE says:

    I feel sorry for my country because day by day our goverment is diging a whole and all of us are in it and there is no way out.They are not worrying because they are rich and can afford to move else where.The rest of us has no choice becuase we are not rich like them.The way Belize is going i see us getting like Sierrs Leone when they were fighting over blood daimonds.Soon we will have people fighting over power because i feel that it will get to a point that people will start to do things we haven’t dreamed would happen in Belize.We won’t have protection from the Police,nor justice.I am really scared to see where we will be in a couple years,if i even live to see that day.Everyone is thinking about protecting themselves because we can’t get protection else where.If you go to the police they treat you like you are the criminal.All Barrow is doing is making the country worst than it was.We are in Dean’s world now , better do what he says or they will pick us up like they did Glen Tillett and rush us to Belmopan.Lol.On a serious note, we must live our lives vigilantly because there are people watching us and they know they can get away with anything.God Speed

  7. Orangewalkeno abroad says:

    Call a spade a spade .STOP DIVERTING FROM THE TRUE EVIL WITHIN.Calbo d baro da dictata.Do we belizeans want small change or a positive change?This is not a simple change. He di shake u right hand and di slap u with di other.A dictator is a Dictator and that is what calbo wants to be.We moved into independence hoping to leave colonialism behind and move into the modern world of opportunities to fall back into this?C’mon Belicenos,we know beta than that.Take da bunch a red da slata house and get bak u freedom.We de think?dat we da bigs?Common sense no common ask u grampa.

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