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Sep 7, 2016

Opposition Leader repeats call for Government to appeal Section 53 decision

John Briceno

News Five spoke exclusively with the Leader of the Opposition following this morning’s rally. First on our list of questions was his reaction to the divide among Belize’s churches on appealing the decision of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to amend Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code to allow consensual private sexual acts between adults that were previously against the order of nature. Expressing concern that time may run out, John Briceño once again called on the Government to appeal the decision on their behalf. He also explains that the P.U.P. cannot hold a national position, leaving it up to their members to decide.


John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“I don’t know what is the exact time, but I think if – it is usually twenty-one days, and if they don’t make a decision very quickly, time could very well run out. We in the P.U.P. have said that we will not take a party’s position, but we have allowed individuals in the party to take whatever position they feel is the right one, depending on what they think, what are their beliefs and what their conscience tells them to do.”


Aaron Humes

“As you said, it’s a personal decision – but the party has not weighed in with regard to the Section 53 matter?”


John Briceño:

“No. What the party has said, though, is that the churches do have a right to appeal, and if there are so many people that have grave concerns as to the actual definition, as to what exactly the Chief Justice ruled on, and have been asking for an appeal, I think it is the responsibility of the Government to have the appeal, so that once we have the appeal we can have the clarity for everybody, so that everybody can understand what the ruling was from the Chief Justice.”


The twenty-one day limit for appeal or leave to appeal depends on when the Supreme Court’s judgment and order is perfected. We understand that this has been done and that the limit has begun and in fact runs out this coming Friday, which is when the churches will again meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Belize City.

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.

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1 Response for “Opposition Leader repeats call for Government to appeal Section 53 decision”

  1. CEO says:

    In any democracy unpopular speech and ideas need to be protected.

    There will never be a 100% accord with any two groups; as a matter of fact there will never be a 100% accord with any two people.

    The main goal of a democratic government is to give voice to the voiceless; the government should never adopt any creed even if it is the will of the people.

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