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National Assembly plans extension of State of Emergency Orders for another two months

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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020. 11:35 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: With less than a week before the State of Emergency Regulations Orders expire, the National Assembly meets next week for the first time in a month to consider and likely approve plans to extend it.

The formal resolution states: “Recognizing that the period of public emergency shall expire at the end of day on the 30th day of April 2020; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House, being satisfied that a period of public emergency persists in the entire country of Belize as a result of the outbreak of the infectious disease known as COVID-19, hereby extends the period of public emergency in the country of Belize for a further period of two months.”

This would extend the order up to the end of June, while the quarantine order imposed countrywide on Holy Saturday, April 11, comes to an end on April 25 unless likewise extended.

The House of Representatives meets on Monday, April 27 and the Senate on Tuesday, April 28, in much-reduced numbers. The House, according to the Standing Orders, needs seven members of thirty plus the Speaker to fulfill quorum, while the Senate needs four plus the President. In practice the House would have four members of the governing United Democratic Party (UDP) including the Prime Minister, while the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) would send three members including Leader of the Opposition John Briceno. The respective leaders of the Government and Opposition in the Senate, plus Attorney General and Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte and one member representing the social partners would be in attendance.

Belize’s number of infections of COVID-19 has been steady at 18 for the last ten days, with two deaths reported, but the legislators are taking no chances on a potential comeback.

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