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Dec 2, 2019

Belize Peace Movement Files for Judicial Review to Challenge GOB on Re-districting

An application for judicial review has been filed by attorney Arthur Saldivar on behalf of the Belize Peace Movement and Vision Inspired by the People.  Both organizations are challenging the Government of Belize in respect of the thirty-one political constituencies and the fact that they are disproportionate in terms of the numbers of registered voters.  It is their hope that the Supreme Court will rule in their favor, ordering a re-districting of the electoral divisions.  This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin heard the application. 

 

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney, Belize Peace Movement

“There is no re-districting process and really and it’s really and truly not the question of re-districting, per se, it’s the question of what the constitution requires that the constituencies be as equal as possible.  One would recognize that we’ve already gone through a re-registration exercise and given that that exercise is now complete the distribution of the electorate is disproportionate in more than seventy percent of the constituencies.  So given what the constitution has laid out and mandated it is something we believe needs to be addressed.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, so give us examples that you guys have studied in trying to make this case of how severe the constituencies have ballooned to unsustainable amounts.”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“Well it’s not only the idea of its ballooning to these huge disparities in terms of numbers, but it is the difficulty it poses to the individual elector who wants to participate in the democratic process.  Those who live in remote areas and have to travel far distances and cannot get to the polling booths on their own and as a result decide that they are not going to participate.  This is a constitutional democracy and democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a sport that requires every citizen who is of the age to vote to have that equal opportunity to vote.  That’s basically what we’re here for, to ensure that that equality is given to all Belizeans.”


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