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Jan 13, 2023

Freetown Area Representative Weighs in on Redistricting Exercise

Francis Fonseca

The Redistricting Taskforce is currently undertaking an exercise to bring Belize’s electoral divisions in alignment with the Constitution of Belize. The constitution requires that the size of each electoral division be as close as possible to an equal number of persons eligible to vote. It is no secret that the Belize District, Belize City in particular, holds the most constituencies per land mass in the country, a total of thirteen. There are already reports that adjustments will be made in many of these constituencies to ensure that the constitution is being adhered to. But, what do the area representatives of these divisions think about the changes to come? Take for instance, Francis Fonseca, the Area Representative for the Freetown. He has won in his constituency for five consecutive terms which means that he has built a long-standing rapport with his constituents. The redistricting exercise may likely change those dynamics. We caught up with Fonseca at an event in Belmopan earlier today where he gave us his take.


Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown

“Let us be clear that there is a process underway and we have to respect that process. This is not a process being driven by political parties or by government. This is a process driven by Elections and Boundaries Commission, by technical experts that they have engaged to work along with them. So, we have to wait for their final reports. That work is ongoing as I understand it. Of course that will be presented to the national Assembly and we will then as members of the National Assembly to review that work and those recommendations. I know that at the court hearing certain recommendations have been made by experts so we have to wait for the official report by the Elections and Boundaries Commission on this matter. But, as a politician who has ran in many elections I know very well that the democracy has been warped and fractured for a long time. But, we are committed to fixing it, so we have not shied away as did the previous government, from moving this process forward. I don’t worry about that kind of thing. It is all about building relationships. It is an opportunity to engage with new people, meet new people, so I think. I am not concerned about that and whatever changes need to be made I think we need to respect those changes.  It is clear that Belize City has too many constituencies. Something has to be done and we will await those changes.”

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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