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Oct 21, 2021

Report Card: Constitutional Reform is Coming – Slowly, but Surely

It’s been almost a year since the P.U.P. took office in central government and the Minister of Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform was asked where his ministry is in terms of short-term and long-term goals.  More specifically, Minister Henry Charles Usher was asked to give a report card on his ministry. He says that while the financial constraints of the government have delayed some processes, they are still pushing forward.


Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service, Constitutional & Political Reform

“Because of the financial constraints, we have not really been able to put much resources in the reform agenda so most of it has been planning; what we are planning to do. But we have had some success already in terms of the amendment to the public accounts committee, the creation of the public contracts commission and we are looking at certain amendments to the Constitution as well that we are trying to get in place. Now on Independence Day, the prime minister announced the People’s Constitutional Commission and really that commission will start to do the work to look at all the laws comprehensively – our constitution, the ancillary laws and so on – looking at these comprehensively and making recommendations on how we can improve our systems, improve the governance in this country and do the necessary reforms. It’s important, forty years or after our independence, it is important for Belizeans to understand what that means, what it means to be independent. We need to have a constitution that is from the people; not a constitution that we inherited from anywhere else. It has to be an organic constitution, a people’s constitution and really that is the work that we are looking at. So in terms of objectives in the short-term, we are going to put together the commission. I was speaking to the Prime Minister this morning on that matter and we are trying to get that done as soon as possible. We are also creating a good governance unit within the Ministry of Public Service and this unit will be the secretariat for this commission, but also the focal point for other governance issues having to do with UNCAC, having to do with other anti-corruption legislation and different amendments that we want to put through.”

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