Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places, Trials » What if the Court Rules in Favor of Redistricting?
Feb 6, 2020

What if the Court Rules in Favor of Redistricting?

Andrew Marshalleck

We asked Marshalleck about the odds of conducting a redistricting exercise ahead of the upcoming general elections given what appears to be a stringent timeline.  He says that should the Supreme Court rule in the claimants’ favour, resources can be made available to get the job done in limited time.

 

Isani Cayetano

“If the Supreme Court rules in the favor of the claimants, your client included, what‘s to happen next in terms of government being able to carry out this exercise on a national scale ahead of the pending elections?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney for Lord Michael Ashcroft

“The divisions can be redrawn.  There is software, there is GIS software that literally puts the location, you have the address of every voter on a map and there are software that will draw it for you in a fair way.  It’s not very difficult and it can be done in time for general elections if somebody wanted to do it.  Now if you want to drag your feet you can find a million reasons not to do it as well.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“One of the excuses or reasons, if I may, is that it’s a costly undertaking.”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“Well there you go, you have Lord Ashcroft volunteering to bring in and assist with people to get it done.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“My final question, Lord Ashcroft, in the eyes of some, is a controversial figure.  As much as he may be celebrated and respected in one corner, he is reviled in another.  In respect of the current claimants, does he coming onboard add or take away from the attention already being given to this matter?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“Well, it’s already adding with this interview, attention to this matter and what we hope we’re able to do is to either support it with good legal arguments and also with the necessary evidence to show what the shortcomings of the existing roles are, that is the extent of the mal-apportionment of the electoral divisions and what are the ways of fixing it.  There are a number of ways of dealing with it and when I look at the papers I don’t think any of that is being put forward.  Putting that kind of information before the court can only assist the court in arriving at a just conclusion and that’s all this is about.  At the end of the day, what people think about Lord Ashcroft or what they don’t think about him doesn’t really matter, the voters in Belize have a problem in that the way things are set up, the people in Belize, a little more than twenty percent of the voting population get to elect forty-two percent of the elected representatives.  That is unfair.  The weight their vote carries is far more than what people in the districts are worth in terms of electing representatives.  The constitution envisages that the electoral division should be more or less equally drawn and we are to hold the authorities to that standard.  From way back in 2012, after the last election, the formal report from the O.A.S. observer mission brought this to the attention of the government and the Elections and Boundaries Commission.  They’ve known since 2012 of the mal-apportionment and nothing has been done.”


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

Comments are closed