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Jun 2, 2023

Redistricting Update: A Proposal to Increase Constituencies by Two?

The next general election is about two and a half years away, scheduled for November 2025; that is, unless the Briceño administration calls early elections. But News Five has received information that would suggest changes to the electoral composition of the House of Representatives. In fact, we are told that the first official proposal for the realignment of electoral constituencies has been presented to political party representatives on the Elections and Boundaries Commission. It is in line with the July seventeenth, 2023 date that was set for the redistricting report to be presented to the National Assembly.  So here’s what is being proposed ahead of a meeting of the commission next Wednesday. We understand that the proposal is to increase the number of constituencies from thirty-one to thirty-three. Belize district will reduce from thirteen to eleven divisions and one each will be added to Orange Walk and Stann Creek districts. The proposal is for two additional constituencies for the Cayo District. The redistricting process is to achieve near equal amount of electorates per division. Today, News Five attempted to get a reaction from representatives from the major political parties, as well as the chair of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, but official comment could not be given. Here is what Chairman Oscar Sabido had to say about the process in December 2022.


Oscar Sabido

Oscar Sabido, Chair, Elections & Boundaries Commission

“The constitution said that there is a necessity to in a sense review electoral division lines on the basis of geographical markers like rivers and roads and streets and all the other issues as to access to polling stations and transportation, which the constitution provides. We could not do this simply by looking at geo data and doing matters of geographic information systems only like that. We needed actual input and ground work. We agreed that our deadline, our timeline of July 2023 would be the date by which we were to present to the national assembly our report. And we are working towards that. There was one little issue which was that, for some reason, there was a proposal for us to do it by the seventeenth of July. We could not fathom that particular proposal, but we agreed to it for the reason that seventeenth of July and the end of July barely makes a difference so we agreed that we are going to present it by the seventeenth of July to the national assembly.”

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