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Oct 13, 2020

Attorney Arthur Saldivar on Peace Movement’s Injunction

Executive members of the Belize Peace Movement today filed papers at the Belize Court General Registry seeking a Court injunction to stop the General Elections set for November eleventh.  The Peace Movement, which has a pending court matter with the Belize Elections Department before the Supreme Court, is asking the court to stop the government from holding the elections until a redistricting or reclassification of the electoral constituencies is conducted. Attorney for the Peace Movement, Arthur Saldivar told News Five today that the application for the injunction seeks to ensure that the case that has been ongoing before the court is properly ventilated before the elections are held because any elections that are held without a redistricting exercise would be in violation of the Constitution of Belize.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Belize Peace Movement

“You cannot have a constitutional election with an unconstitutional speaking of affairs as it relates to the composition of the constituencies is that the two are irreconcilable and it is to determine to what extent it can be remedied and how quickly it can be remedied in order for the Constitution to be adhered to.  Belize is a constitutional democracy and it’s the Constitution that is supreme. So in that regard where there is a mandatory provision of the Constitution that is being violated, the election cannot go with that mandated provision not being first remedied. Otherwise, it will be an invalid election. It is a recipe for chaos and anarchy.  The substantive claim has to be fully ventilated. It’s there; it’s not being withdrawn and it will proceed. So whether or not the injunction is granted, which we hope that it will be, it does not impact on the claim itself. The claim will continue irrespective of that.”

 

Reporter

“How much more difficult would it be for you to get that though that a redistricting is done after the elections are held if you are unable to get it done before?”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“I don’t believe that it would be any more difficult, any less difficult. What we must appreciate is that we have a system where the politicians have hijacked the process. And they have made it such that the Belizean political universe revolves around them as oppose to the people and the Constitution. And that has not served us well at all. For thirty-nine years we have gone backwards; we have no progressed and what we seek to do here now, for the first time, is to bring this matter before the proper authorities to have it addressed.”

 

A date has not yet been set to hear the arguments for this matter, nor has a date been set for the resumption of the case that is currently before the court.  In July, the Supreme Court granted permission to Interested Party in the case, Lord Michael Ashcroft to provide, input for an international expert to conduct analyses of and provide a report on the state of Belize’s elections register in as far as the disparity of the number of voters in each of the thirty-one constituencies are concerned.   Senior Elections Analyst, Sean Trende is expected to make presentations to the Court relating to international standards of democracy and whether Belize’s electoral constituencies as they currently stand, are aligned to those standards and how any malapportionment can be fixed. 


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.

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