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Aug 8, 2011

Churches pass judgment on 9th Amendment

Canon Leroy Flowers

The ninth amendment by which government proposes to alter the constitution to give parliament supremacy is the hottest topic of discussion in most quarters. Public consultations are scheduled to commence on Wednesday, but already a number of organizations including the Bar Association and the Chamber of Commerce have weighed in, objecting to government‘s position to enact the far-reaching piece of legislature which goes beyond enshrining ownership of public utilities in the constitution.  The latest to come forward with its position is the Council of Churches, which says that it has now concluded its research on the ramifications of the amendment if passed.  In a statement issued today the Council objects to the proposed amendment of Section Two of the Constitution; stating; “Any amendments to the Constitution which are inconsistent with the fundamental principles set forth in the Constitution, particularly the preamble, is beyond the law making authority of the National Assembly since such laws cannot be for the peace order or good government of Belize.”  President of the Council of Churches Canon Leroy Flowers today further explained their position on the proposed changes.

Canon Leroy Flowers, President, Belize Council of Churches

“As a body we think that this is a very important change that the government has put forward and while the church is in full support of the government’s cling to nationalize the utilities if that in its wisdom they feel that’s the right thing to do.  That is different from making such fundamental changes in our constitution and that is where the Council has much problems.  And so in the statement which was worked on last week and issued today, we say in the statement that we fully support government’s right to nationalize the utilities but we ask and we would humbly submit to government that to make changes to Section 2 and Section 29 of our constitution fundamentally will change what we understand the way by which we are governed and that is our understanding and that is our position on this matter.”

Isani Cayetano

“It would seem to some as though there was a delay or time had passed before the church actually brought forward its position on the matter.  Can you speak to us that?”

Canon Leroy Flowers

“No.  There is no delay.  First of all the consultation will begin on Wednesday so we will be putting forward our position on the consultation headed by the honorable Minister of Education or, as I understand, the former Attorney General who will be acting as chair in his absence.  So there is no delay.  Secondly, we did not just want to rush to judgment.  We felt it was important to seek careful analysis of this matter, prayerful thought and legal advice as to the way in which we should go.  So remember, this is all a legal document that the government has put forward and we needed to be very sure in our own minds collectively that this is our position, this is our understanding.  And so last week we spent considerable time in discussion.  We formulated the statement which we issued today but by the time we were ready the week had already passed and we thought since there is still enough time, the consultation begins on Wednesday, we send out the statement today.  So there is no delay at all, this was always on the forefront of the many things that we are grappling with.”

The Belize Council of Churches, in the release, also does not support “the proposed bar on the jurisdiction of the courts to inquire into its constitutionality, legality or validity of the acquisitions nor any derogation of the rights of the former owner of these utilities.”

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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6 Responses for “Churches pass judgment on 9th Amendment”

  1. Storm says:

    Historical fact: “Parliamentary supremacy” is what Adolf Hitler used to impose his dictatorship, jail his opponents, and murder Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and anyone the majority considered “defective” or undesirable.

    I wouldn’t trust UDP, PUP, or any other politician to have such absolute power over my family and me!

  2. Earl Grey says:


  3. Belizean says:

    I think you need to add this comment to Do it right…he seems to be Pro Dean Barrow, Pro everything he say…its a damn shame people get blinded by gov. If i know a gov. action will somehow have an impact on my kids i ll definitely stand up against it…even if Im a full blown UDP..! Do it right is your last name Barrow..??

  4. equal justice says:

    well I imagine the Government and El Guardian will say all churches are PUP, like the PUP Bar Association and the PUP Chamber of Commerce.

  5. OriginalWoman says:

    @ Earl do you actually think the churches have the kind of power to stop the crime wave in Belize…Do you think these people are listening to the church?? If they were, we wouldn’t have the problem to begin with. You got to be kidding!!! ALL BELIZEANS christians, muslims, and others need to come together, organize, take it to the streets, protest, stand in front of city hall in Belmopan and DEMAND that the laws of Belize are re-written to form tougher penalties against murderers!!!

  6. Steve says:

    DO IT RIGHT: is a UDP trademark. “Let’s do it right” was the UDP campaign slogan for the last general elections. So you can expect that do it right belongs to the Barrow royal family.

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