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Aug 22, 2011

9th Amendment to be amended

The Prime Minister announced today that it is removing specific language on the proposed ninth amendment but is it still dangerous for Belize’s democracy? On July twenty-second, Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s government introduced a controversial ninth amendment to the Belize Constitution in the House of Representatives that unleashed fiery public debate. The bill has come under sustained and heavy attack from the Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Belizeans for Justice and the Belize Council of Churches.

Professors from the University of the West Indies and even the influential Jamaica Gleaner have warned about the dangers for Belize’s democracy if the ninth amendment is passed. Just last Tuesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice expressed the view that the ninth amendment would be unconstitutional if it tried to shut out the courts. The intense local and even international criticism of the bill has finally caused the government to soften its position… at least a little. This afternoon, the government issued a press release that, following meetings with the Churches, it was going to “trim” parts of the ninth amendment. The release was, however, silent on any specifics of what would be trimmed. The Churches then issued their own press release providing details of what looks more like major cuts in the ninth, not just mere trimming. Those offensive words that spoke about shutting out the court’s ability to examine whether legislation was unconstitutional are being removed.  But it still leaves the government with the basic power to amend anything in the constitution once it has the three-quarters majority without anyone being able to go to court and have the court decide the matter. We have obtained the preliminary views of members of the Bar Association who say that while some of the poison has been removed from the ninth amendment, what remains is still a potent danger to our democratic way of life. We’ll have a closer look on the modifications in Tuesday’s newscast.

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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20 Responses for “9th Amendment to be amended”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    6 of one and half a dozen of the other. NO MEANS GODAMN NOOOOOOOOOOOO BARROW!!! NO TO THE 9TH. PERIOD!!!

  2. Joe McGuire says:

    whats the difference? The words have just been twisted around, still means the same thing.

  3. Lindsay Howard says:

    So, does this mean that PM Barrow has publicly admitted he was lying when he said that this proposed constitution amendment didn’t change anything, just clarified what was already the case — that the legislature has the power to unilaterally change the Constitution?

    I for one think we should believe him and demand a mandatory referendum provision be added to the Constitution so that this issue never raises its ugly head again.

  4. NoNo says:

    I say no to the 9th Amendment, the UDP serve one term and they have a whole pile a $**% they want to do and change, they say the listen to the People and they dont, all Dean is thinking about is his selfish act and about making more money on our poor belizeans.

    For you all who sopport the 9th Amendment, you will be sorry, If this is done, and it seems barrow doesn’t care about what the people think, so it the 9th amendment is passed, barrow will be able to do what he wants with us and our property, he will be able to take what ever he wants, be it land be it house and turn it into government property and we cant take him to court. Is that what you people soporting this want? And Ms. Lauren, de wah tek weh ur sofa and t.v and house and turn it to wa udp office and u wa ka do nothing but go live pa d street, stop mek barow the fool u. The PM nuh worry bo none a we!!!

  5. Truths says:

    i agree.. we should protest..
    and put a stop to this nonsense.. it has to end.. NO TO THE NINTH AMENDMENT.. WHERE DO WE HAVE TO VOTE OR WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO.. ????

  6. defend BZ says:

    Just as i have been saying , the PM has not been tinking things through. he seems to have gottin some inputs this time around but it is still not good enough. just drop 9

  7. Me says:

    Barrow you have made history. The most tyran of them all. The most abusive, the prime that when crazy with power.NO is NO barrow you are not fit for any public job.

  8. CEO says:

    We should not only not allow this nonsense 9th Amendment we should also remove any other legislation or parts of the constitution that sugests any other reading that looks or sounds like this suggested change.

    If we have a democracy how the hell can the legislators trump the courts? Is Barrow that crazy or is he just stupid? I would have never expected this sort of mess from a person who is suposedly that learned!

    The justice system should never be short circuted by the legislators and citizens should always have access to the courts! Only dictators come up with rules/laws like this!

  9. Earl Grey says:



  10. oca says:

    Lets not blind ourselves by favoring a party, people! From my point of view, the council of churches is looking at this issue objectively and so should the nation at large, I think it is excellent when the country is given this type of opportunity to voice their opinion and negotiate with government! THAT IS DEMOCRACY!!!! I don’t think people that are saying to Just drop 9 are really “thinking” …its that or they are just blinded by the political propaganda! LETS THINK OBJECTIVELY BELIZE!

  11. subKonshus says:

    Back up indeed Mr. Barrow…all those who were in support of the 9th amendment must be feeling real stupid right now. Because it is going to be amendended…then what? You are going to follow blindly again? Above all and beyond all things, remember one thing…Dean Barrow is a politician. He will say what you want to hear, then do what he wants to do. From way back in 2008, when the Land Owners from Never Delay was up in arms, it was over this very same thing. They lost to Barry Bowen, so they are trying to camouflage it again under “Nationalization”. But it stinks to high heaven wherever they put it. Its like trying to hide guava…You will always smell it. Its now obvious that Nationalization and the 9th Amendment are like Apples and Oranges. If its orange juice you are selling, then you need to squeeze oranges…simple as that. So back the hell up…nationalize all you want, but don’t mess the rights of the people…we don’t play that game…

  12. oca says:

    Lets not be blinded by the political propaganda, people! From my point of view the council of churches is looking at this objectively…that is what the nation at large should be looking at. I think it is excellent that the country is being given the opportunity to voice their opinions and negotitate with government! THAT IS DEMOCRACY!!!! People who are just stuck to saying NO and not even discussing the issue are just not “thinking” or have been blinded by political propaganda…Let true DEMOCRACY take its course!

  13. belizeanpride says:

    I say no tot he 9th amendment period, what does barrow doesn’t understand about our voices saying no. i know he’s gott he look of stupid but ignorant is the correct word for him. dean listen to us not your wife’s, son’s, ex wife’s lust for money making with this court things that screws us while they profit from all this cases. if you don’t listen to us then screw you for election or for the revolution to come. if we got to fight like the Lybian rebels i’ll gladly join and we can start anytime.

  14. subKonshus says:

    With all due respect OCA…..compromising our Fundamental Rights and Freedom should be non-negotiable…to say the least.

  15. oca says:

    Thanks for the respect subKnoshus…but think about it, if it was the government saying what you were saying then they would push the bill without consultation because to THEM the fundamental right of owning the utilities should be non-negotiable! so then we would be balling out…NO DEMOCRACY!!!! I tend to think like the council of churches…that we have a FUNDAMENTAL right to utilities….does that mean “to hell with the rest of consultations and possible negotiations that can occur in this country?” Absolutely NO! Lets embrace DEMOCRACY!

  16. Jahmal says:

    All you PUP do da talk. so far none have come up with any suggestion of what we as Belizean should do to keep BEL,BTL in the hands of the Belizean pll. PUP 98-08 what did you guyz did mak i hear

  17. Steve says:

    Let’s not allow Barrow to continue fooling the Bzean people. The 9th amendment is not really about “nationalization” of BEL & BTL. Barrow wants to be in power indefinitely. So the 9th amendment if passed, it will be subverting our democracy and taking away our rights and freedom. I am surprised that the council of churches allows itself to be used by Barrow; or is the Council a surrogate of the defunct and infamous ACB? The council should not be compromising their faithfuls. Or is it that they want to please Barrow at the heads of their congregation? The council should take a more prudent stance in this delicate and controversial amendment.
    The point is that Barrow cannot be TRUSTED. He has done it before to the unions; he called them in for discussion, both parties arrive at a conclusion, but he comes out and reports in the media a total different story and subsequently does what he wants. SO BEWARE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES.
    Opposing the 9th amendment does not mean that you are a PUP. It means that you are conscious patriotic Bzean who want the best for Bze. Long live Belize!

  18. Ricky Malthus says:

    My fellow Belizeans, understand that we the people are the sovereigns of this land ,not barrow and not theother elected officials. We created the Constitution, we created the laws that govern us and we created a limited government to carry out our wishes. So Barrow is destroying this system, and we won’t allow it. this is a democratic system. Barrow and all politicians have to work within the parameters we set . If they cannot or won’t , then they have to go one way or another. So we have to abolish the idea of the Ninth Amendment totally because it doesn’t make sense and places the people in the drains. Analyse the Ninth ,you will find that Belizeans won’t own any resources but only politicians . The people will be worst off because they won’t have any chance of becoming rich ever and will be cast as serfs or slaves forever. So listen people . It is your future. You are poor now and the ninth will cause you to be even poorer.

  19. ANTI-DEAN BARROW says:

    I am 100% against this entire constitution change to implement the 9th amendment. Dean barrow is tryin to appear as a next fidel castro….the people want a change but not to be soffocate. i think u shud do us a favour and jus step down from ur poat as belize’s prime minister..

  20. mattymays says:

    hi happy christmas to every one – matty

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