Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Miscellaneous, People & Places, Politics » 9th Amendment Bill passed
Oct 21, 2011

9th Amendment Bill passed

Dean Barrow

Just after the four o’clock this afternoon, the ninth Amendment Bill to the constitution, which was touted around the country in a highly politicized road show, came to pass. The governments super majority in the House, all twenty-four voted yah, there were three no’s from the Opposition’s side, and one abstention from Orange Walk East Marcel Cardona who spoke against the ninth but did not vote against the bill for fear of losing his seat. There was flurry of activity outside parliament as thousands of U.D.P. supporters were bused in to show government’s muscle. We start our detailed coverage of today’s proceedings with the Prime Minister as he gave his reasons for the bill which has been rejected by numerous organizations.

Dean Barrow

“These changes have come about in response to concerns that came right at the start of public consultations. We are indebted to those who articulated the concerns; in particular we are grateful to the Belize Evangelical of Churches and the Belize Council of Churches. Their advocacy which we knew to be genuine and unbiased persuaded us early to agree to amendments. As the consultations and public debate continued, we became convinced that there should be a change additionally to the ones agreed to by the churches. The first is that all language in the bill that purported to oust the jurisdiction of the courts is removed. Thus in the new subsection nine of section sixty-nine which is in clause three of the bill; the house committee has deleted all of the following: “And the law passed by the National Assembly to alter any provisions of the constitution which is passed in conformity of this section shall not be open to challenge in any court of law on any grounds whatsoever.” All those words as the chairman of the constitution and foreign affairs committee detailed in his report—all those words have been removed. In subsection one of section one-forty-five and that is clause four of the bill; the committee is also deleting the words: “And no court shall inquire into constitutionality, legality and validity of the said acquisitions notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section seventeen, section twenty or any other provision of this constitution or any other law or rule of practice.” And subsection two of one-forty-five is being deleted in its entirety. That is the subsection that said; “the bar on the jurisdiction of the court contained in subsection one above is absolute and no court shall assume jurisdiction on any ground whatsoever, including without limitation any alleged ground of lack of jurisdiction in the person making the said acquisition orders or any ground alleging breach of the role of natural justice.”

I had a discussion with one of the social grouping organizers and I said to him, you tell me how it is that the ninth constitution amendment bill will affect your rights sir. You tell me what is in there that will say that you can’t go to court to challenge any executive action, to challenge any law passed by the legislature on the basis that it is unconstitutional? You tell me how it will affect your business? You tell me how it will affect you from running up your long mouth? And Mister Speaker, he couldn’t answer. There is nothing in the bill to which he could point and say this will affect me individually.

Even the Ashcroft alliance, the previous owners of Telemedia, the bill provides for their full and proper compensation to be paid. They have no right not to have their property acquired. They have a right not to have their property acquired without provisions being made for compensation. So not even their rights are being affected by the bill. But leaving them aside, which Belizean will suffer as a consequence of this bill? And I am saying I here to tell you Mr. Speaker, there will be no other constitutional amendment that will trample on Belizeans’ rights. We in terms of the eighth constitutional amendment thought that a tradeoff was necessary given where we were in terms of crime. Well the people said to us, absolutely not and I am here to tell you, not a next constitutional amendment will be brought back to this house by this government.”

Barrow also alleged that members of the House were offered million dollar bribes to either abstain from voting or to vote no on the ninth. No specific person was named.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

2 Responses for “9th Amendment Bill passed”

  1. Charlie Price says:

    They were offered…MILLION DOLLAR BRIBES???

    THERE IS MONEY IN BELIZE… LOTS OF MONEY.
    They should put it to work by PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK, and NOT HOARDING IT.

  2. Manuel Almendar says:

    THOSE UDP SUPPORTERS ARE THE ONES GIVEN MONEY TO JUMP AND SAY YES. POOR @$$#$…THEY DON`T KNOW THE SIZE OF STAKE THAT IS IN THEIR @$$#$ NOW, THEY ARE SO DUMB AND MORONS !!!
    THOSE SO CALLED SUPPORTERS ARE THE ONES THAT WILL BE MORE HURT IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE FOR SELLING THEIR @$$#$ FOR A LITTLE CANDY !!!!

  3. Juan says:

    Al final como siempre pasa, se terminan aprobando leyen muy dudosas en el beneficio que pueden aportar a la sociedad. Ahora sólo queda esperar, a ver donde llevan estos cambios.

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*