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Aug 14, 2023

PM Briceño, “11th Amendment is not about Shyne Barrow.”

Prime Minister John Briceño

This morning, Prime Minister John Briceño appeared on Open Your Eyes and weighed in on the controversial piece of law.  He says that the Eleventh Amendment is not about Shyne Barrow.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“A lot of people have honed into this thing [as if it is] about just Shyne Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition, but I think the Leader of the Opposition is taking himself too serious.  It’s not just about him, it’s not about him.  It think that the framers of the constitution, as Minister Usher pointed, made an oversight.  We either fix it or take it out of the constitution because the way it’s set up in the constitution, it states that if you commit a crime in Belize, if you commit a crime in the Commonwealth, say like in Jamaica or Grenada, Trinidad, Australia, Canada, you can never run.  You can never run for electoral politics here in Belize.  But you can go, walk right across to Chetumal and commit a crime and assault somebody, you go to jail, or in Melchor, but yet you could still run in Belize.  So obviously there is a level of discrimination.  So we either take it out completely so that anybody could run.  They could go and kill fifty people and still run to represent the people of Belize or, following up on what the framers of the constitution were attempting to do, to fix it. Now some may say, “Well you appointed the People’s Constitutional Commission.”  And rightly so, but this process started before then and there’s been a lot of discussion in cabinet and among our colleagues as to whether we should finish it or not.  And again, we said, “Let’s debate it.”  And so we brought it up to the house meeting for debate and then it was after the debate when we went to the Committee of the Whole then it felt like, okay let’s pause again, let’s hit the pause button again and then let’s work this through and so that’s basically what has happened.”

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