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Jun 25, 2020

Attorney Says Redistricting Case Must be Heard before General Elections

General Elections are due in November of this year, but the exact date is not known. But there is a pending case against the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the government before the court on the matter of the election process. Lord Michael Ashcroft and the Belize Peace Movement are challenging that the government has not conducted a boundary redefining or redistricting exercise.  The exercise is to make the thirty-one constituencies more proportionate with the number of registered voters in each division. There have been several delays such as the Chief Justice’s retirement and the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorneys Andrew Marshalleck and Arthur Saldivar, representing both parties, are pushing for the case to be heard.   Saldivar has written to the Registrar General and says that the case must be heard and a ruling handed down before any election is held.

 

On the Phone: Arthur Saldivar, Attorney

“There are a number of factors that has caused the matter to be suspended to where it is right now. The first is that the Chief Justice had reached retirement age and had made to leave the jurisdiction. He was relieved of his duties as Chief Justice. Then shortly following that you had the shutdown as a result of COVID-19. Those things disrupted the proceeding. As a result of that we are where we are now. In the impasse when the court started to operate at least close to normal again I had written to the registrar to have the matter reconvene and continued.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Any response to that letter as yet?”

 

On the Phone: Arthur Saldivar

“Well no written response. However I did manage to speak to the Assistant Registrar last week and was put through the marshal responsible for the present chief justice and I was told that we would get a date within next two weeks. It has to be held before any elections because the election given the current situation would be unconstitutional. So for us to have a valid elections where we can respect and adhere to whatever government comes about as a result cannot be done without the redistricting exercise taking place.”


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