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Oct 21, 2011

Too late for 9th referendum

Dean Barrow

The injunction to stop the ninth amendment from becoming law until after a referendum was rejected this morning by the Supreme Court. We’ll tell you more on this later, including a last minute attempt to reverse that ruling. There was also another move to take the bill to a referendum before it is passed and Friends of Belize Collected twenty-one thousand signatures for that purpose. However, PM Barrow said that it’s too late for a referendum while referring to the lawyers in that case as “asses.”

Dean Barrow

“With respect to a referendum, there is a referendum act which we passed, which entitles any member of the public who can get requisite number of signatures to a referendum. And indeed if the exercise to collect those signatures had been done at the time when it was required, the time contemplated by the referendum act, they would have gotten their referendum. But you see, the alliance under this Friends of Belize only decided on that tactic when it was too late under the law. And you know why they completely misread the law—and I can say so with absolute confidence because of the Vellos case—and because of the fact that this morning, the Supreme Court told them at this juncture you are entitled to no referendum. You can’t move the referendum process member for Fort George. And I’ll tell you something about you and your legal skills or absence thereof in a minute—hold your horses; take your time. You can’t move your referendum process with respect to a constitutional amendment just before the bill is to come back to the house for passage.  They tried that in the Vellos case and Conteh wrongly gave them injunction. When it got to the Privy Council said to Lisa Shoman; how could you even have asked for a referendum, and the privy council also said, how could Conteh ever have given such a referendum? The purpose of the referendum is consultative; it can’t bind anybody. But if they had not waited for as long as they did, they would have been entitled to their referendum. If what I expect would have happened, the bill would have passed and become law. How you would have a referendum after the matter is a law; a constitutional amendment? Mister Speaker, I am not being rude. There is actually as the lawyers can tell you; that the law is an ass. Well in this case, the law was not the ass you know. It was the lawyers that were the asses.”

With full passage, the ninth actually officially is the eighth amendment to the constitution, as the previous proposed Eighth bill on preventive detention, was shelved and then disregarded by the government.

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1 Response for “Too late for 9th referendum”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    Fool di talk, but fool no di listen? How in the name of Democracy, could any one say it is too late for a referendum? Rise up Belizeans, Stand up for your rights! Demonstrate en masse, don’t let this swindling PM and his bunch of bufoons in the house hijack the constitution and lead you to hell.

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