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Aug 14, 2023

11th Amendment Stayed in the House of Representatives

Shyne Barrow

On Friday evening, at the conclusion of a lengthy House meeting, the motion to proceed with the Eleventh Amendment was stayed when it was taken to the Committee of the Whole.  The Eleventh Amendment, as we’ve reported, seeks to disqualify anyone who has served a year or more in prison for convictions related to violent crimes or corruption.  From the onset, Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow has taken issue with the proposed piece of law, as he firmly believes that it was purposely designed to target him.  The matter remained dormant for the better part of two years before it was revived around the time of Barrow’s request for a no-confidence motion pertaining to the leadership of Prime Minister John Briceño.  That motion did not see the light of day, however, the Briceño administration brought its Eleventh Amendment to the House for second reading.  Here’s Barrow’s response to what transpired afterwards.


Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“It is a further indictment of the failed state of the Briceño administration.  They are turning Belize into a banana republic.  It was a weaponization of the constitution, a very fascist move and then at the last minute, they withdrew it.  So it shows that they are frightened at what you see here today.  They tried to distract us, they tried to distract the Belizean people, but what you see here today is not about Shyne Barrow.  It is about Belize and what we want as a nation, and what the people want is that the promises are kept.”


Tracy Panton

Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert

“I thought that it was a blatant abuse of parliamentary authority by the Government of Belize and it is clearly targeted at one individual which is the Leader of the Opposition.  You know, we agreed to a process of a Constitutional Reform Commission made up of twenty-three organizations in this country.  And so, you know, we should allow that process to inform the changes to our constitution, it is the supreme law of the land.  It is not something, changes should not be done frivolously or, you know, willy-nilly, and it should be used to protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens.  So clearly, you know, it’s like egg in your face.  It was the prime minister who met with the social partners who agreed to this process and we supported it.  It had bipartisan support in the house.  So it’s unfortunate that they showed their hand that way.”

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