Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020. 4:30 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: As sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives – in this case, the life of Belize’s parliament.
Five years on from its first meeting on November 13, 2015, the National Assembly shall stand dissolved on that date in 2020, meaning general elections must be called.
But Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has more and more begun referring to his exit, is holding his last card – setting a date for those elections – close to his chest.
Challenged during Wednesday’s House of Representatives meeting by Stann Creek West representative Rodwell Ferguson over a November 4 date, the Prime Minister said that he is not compelled to come before the House to make that announcement just yet. He says that there are other matters that are pending before a date is called and the house is dissolved.
Afterward he told reporters, “We‘re not, except there’s another hurricane and this time one that is far more serious, we‘re not going to go beyond the month of November for sure. We’re not even going to go beyond, in my view, the first two weeks in November. You can therefore narrow it down pretty much to what week we’re looking at, if not what day exactly.”
There is another meeting of the House scheduled for next Friday, September 25, and then the Senate meets on September 30, the following Wednesday to consider legislation. But after that, the P.M. said, “any number can play and that number will play very quickly, but I don‘t want to actually give a specific date because there are still some moving parts that might mean that if I did give you a particular date I would have to move it up a little or move it back a little. So I think it‘s enough to tell you we’re not looking at going beyond the first two weeks in November.”
The 2012 and 2015 elections were called on a Wednesday, making November 4 and 11 the likeliest dates. The 2008 election was held on a Thursday, and curiously, Belize since universal adult suffrage in 1954 has held an election on every day of the week except for a Tuesday. Tuesday, November 3 is the date for elections in the United States, being the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month, but don’t rule out November 10, the following Tuesday.
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