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Redistricting constitutional challenge advances to case management

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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2019. 4:02 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This morning Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin heard from claimants against the Elections and Boundaries Commission as to the form of their proposed claim.

Frank Edward “Paco” Smith Junior and others are seeking a reprimand and an order for the Commission to do its job and redraw the electoral boundaries ahead of next year’s general elections, a task attorney Arthur Saldivar said could be done “in a day.”

Saldivar explained that the Supreme Court covers claims for administrative actions to be reviewed in two parts: judicial review of decisions by authorities and a Constitutional motion concerning actions and more importantly, the omission of actions by authorities, which does not require leave to file as the other does.

The case returns to court on Friday, December 20, for case management.

Saldivar explained why he wants the court to hear this case as expeditiously as possible: “I believe it is the desire of every Belizean to have the opportunity to participate in free and fair elections and this matter, this case, impacts us being able to make that ability manifest; so in that regard it is of utmost importance.

This case would be the first of its kind, Saldivar suggested, though not in terms of citizens pushing authorities to get their jobs done.

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