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Feb 20, 2020

Bobby Lopez Takes on Redistricting and Good Governance

Bobby Lopez

The legal challenge brought against the Government of Belize by the Belize Peace Movement regarding an overdue redistricting exercise is presently before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  The revision of electoral districts across the country has been an issue raised by the BPM as far back as 2015 around the time of the last general election.  Since Lord Michael Ashcroft has joined the case as an interested party, talk of using modern technology, including Graphic Information Systems, in order to map out the respective constituency has arisen.  Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez, a stalwart of the Belize Peace Movement opined on the issue of redistricting, as well as good governance.


Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez, Belize Peace Movement

“It really affects every faucet, every area of our democracy.  A strong democracy starts with a system of fair representation.  One person, one vote.  So the framers of our constitution knew that we needed to have those constituencies as equal as possible so that the voice representing the people in the house has the same power as every other thirty-one of the voices there.  And so today, this is not the first time, we brought it up back in 2012 when the re-registration was due and it was, they colluded to extend it another five years, from ten to fifteen to twenty.  We said re-district, it didn’t happen.  2015 we went to court and tried to get it into the court system.  They said the same thing, it’s too close to election.  Well listen, it can be done now, technology and GIS exists that with the re-registration you know where everybody lives.  You can survey and do the split up very, very easily.  Our people are telling us within three months it can be done and it can be done right.  Now what is the excuse of the parties?  Oh they will have to build relationships with the voters.  Well listen mein, if you have to do that then you’ll have many months to do.  We’re saying, and this is the first time you’re gonna hear this guys, We’re saying, if we have elections in November, three months later we’re back at the polls for municipal.  So I am saying, let’s hold the election and let’s do a double election.  It’s not like we haven’t done that before.  Elections are expensive, so let’s go to the first Wednesday in March and hold a double election but let’s get it right.  What is so difficult?”

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