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Dec 9, 2019

BPM and VIP Back in Court Over Re-districting Exercise

The Belize Peace Movement and Vision Inspired by the People were back in court this morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin where they are seeking leave to commence a judicial review challenging the Government of Belize in respect of a re-districting exercise.  The disparity between the various constituencies as far as the number of registered voters remains an area of concern for both parties who have since sought legal counsel from attorney Arthur Saldivar in filing the application. Those numbers, says Saldivar, are grossly uneven in many electoral divisions, including Fort George and Mesopotamia in Belize City.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Belize Peace Movement

Arthur Saldivar

“The initial and the primary purpose of the challenge is to address a constitutional violation that exists, that has arisen as a result of the non-compliance to Section Ninety of the constitution which is to make the constituencies as equal as possible.  What happens with that is that by virtue of that imbalance, that inequality, Section Six, the equal protection of law provision is violated as it relates to those applicants who have brought this matter before the court. We wouldn’t have been here had the requests for the matter to be addressed had been acceded to.  We are here because they were not.  So this is basically the bottom line as it relates to that issue.  Now the inequality in terms of the constituencies, you must appreciate, leaves the issue where the voter in, for example, Fort George or Mesopotamia, is five and six times more powerful than the voter in Belmopan or Stann Creek West.  So we have thirty-one seats in parliament and each constituency elects one representative, but whereas in Fort George or Mesopotamia where one thousand, five hundred elects one; in Belmopan and in Cayo South or in Stann Creek West, seven thousand elects one.  So in that regard, there is a major disparity.”


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