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Jul 25, 2011

Amendment would give unyielding power to any ruling political party

Arthur Saldivar’s objections were heralded by Hubert Elrington, another attorney that often speaks out on constitutional issues. Elrington sat at his side in a joint interview and put the proposed amendment into further context. He said that if passed, the National Assembly is going to have power that will exceed that of the constitution. Whoever has the majority, whether the United Democratic Party or the People’s United Party, would be able to make any law that would go unchallenged while in power.

Hubert Elrington, Attorney

“Your liberties and freedoms are at stake. This particular amendment now puts the life, liberty and freedom of every single Belizean at stake—all of our freedoms, all of our lives, all of our liberties are now being put at stake. This absolute madness.”

Jose Sanchez

Hubert Elrington

“This is not about B.T.L., B.E.L., or WASA?”

Hubert Elrington

“This has nothing to do with anything beside removing constitutional government and creating government by the will of the people who control the national assembly. It is no longer the constitution that will be sovereign; it is whoever controls the national assembly that—you will have now parliamentary sovereignty.”

Jose Sanchez

“And we’ve known from the past that not all governments may have had or done things in the best interest of the people.”

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney

“And this is the thing Jose. In England there is parliamentary sovereignty, but when we talk about the English Westminster model and parliamentary sovereignty there, you have two houses—the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The way the debate is structured in England, it allows for mass participation and input on both sides. Here is Belize; you have an autocratic regime taking over every five years. Whoever is in the majority has no duty or responsibility to gain consensus from those in opposition. So this is the situation that basically allows for one side to put his position forward and to advance that with impunity. In this regard now, it is being taken a step further. We are not talking about subsidiary legislation, which comes under the constitution; we’re talking about creating a new animal within the constitution to render the constitution itself null and void by act of parliament. Nobody went to the polls with that in mind, nobody voted for that.”

Beginning on Wednesday, our morning show will be featuring a series of experts on the constitution and the proposed ninth amendment.

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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7 Responses for “Amendment would give unyielding power to any ruling political party”

  1. WTF says:

    Why is this so scary if these amendments are passed…Fast Forward a bit to the future.

    Constitutional Amendment #15…. In the interest of National security and the continued economic survival of Belize…All general elections are hereby cancelled. and the United Demoratic Party shall remain in power until such time as the party detemines is feasable….

    And there would be nothing anyone could do about it.

  2. concerned belizean says:

    This Dean Barrow Administration seems hell bent on eroding and or circumventing the fundamental principles of our constitution, first its the presumption of innocence before the courts when charged with an offense, then trying to play judge jury and executioner with preventative detention, now its putting the courts beyond the reach of those wronged by this oppressive, vindictive and victimizing regime. when will they get it that they have lost their way and the support of the people? its time for these power drunk leaders to go home. we have had enuff! every five years we are promised salvation and we end up getting oppressed even more by our so called saviors.

  3. Numenorean says:

    @wtf Or elections are to be held every 10 years and shall have retrospective effect – Dean Barrow is then in for another 5 years without elections. This is truly not impossible people.

  4. Justice says:

    Once Barrow gets this passed, who is to say that there will be any more elections? He is not to be trusted. belizean just look at all the crap he has done and continues to do. Is this someone we should be following? He needs to get out. He needs to go back to where he belongs… at Satan’s side!

  5. Roy Yates says:


  6. CHE says:

    I am with you Roy Yates, I say we line up the troops and take over bafttlefield park

  7. Roy Yates says:

    CHE; I”m way up in age and I left Belize when it was not necessary to lock the doors of the house,it was so peaceful. I saw riots in the United States of America and experience with the Vietnam war and the Nigerian civil war. Only the person that experience war close up know how it can play out on the deeper subcancious in each passing days. I know former soldiersthat can’t stop crying to this day because of the Vietnam experiences. I do not advocate violence, but I realize that I live in a world which at times physical violence seem to be the only way to get some folks attention.

    As I see it, the current situation in Belize can be rectify without violence. But leadership is lacting in planning and execusion. Someone like Audrey Matura Sheperd need to go from talking to action, such as getting the school children behind her. She need to get it across to them with fresh meaning of what is at stake. A strong under ground net work is necessary that will deliver certain untimatum to key individuals, to towe the line or face the consequence. Citizens must be prepared to share food with others that may not have the reasources to sustain a strike by the shop owners, who must be told that they will cooperate or elce. Public tranportation must also be made to towe the line. I’ll say no more. Just like there is not leadership in the political arena, the same is lacting to get a movement that will show the government that the people mean business.

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