Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2020. 10:29 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The first key step toward Election Day on November 11 occurs today, Wednesday, with the nomination of candidates countrywide.
Per the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 9 of the Laws of Belize, only a person nominated today can be a candidate in the general election, unless there is no opposition to one candidate in a division who would become duly elected.
The train was set in motion by the publishing of the writ of election by the Governor-General and announcement of times, places, and date of nomination.
Nomination Day proceeds as follows. Between 10 a.m. this morning and 4 p.m. this afternoon, the prospective candidate and six persons on the electoral roll will place his or her name in nomination. Before today that person or his representative will have had to pay $200 as a sort of security. It will be returned to him if he is elected or has amassed at least 10 percent of votes in a contested election; if not, it will be forfeit.
Both major parties, the People’s United Party (PUP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) will nominate 31 candidates, in all divisions. The Belize Progressive Party has listed eight candidates including leader Patrick Rogers, but reports say at least one candidate may drop out. The Belize People’s Front (BPF) is expected to nominate up to 17 candidates. There are also a number of independent candidates.
By agreement, no parties will be escorted to the nomination by motorcade and parade due to COVID-19 concerns. The UDP was first to announce this on Monday, followed by the BPP and BPF, and lastly the PUP after some cajoling from Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. Police will monitor and enforce guidelines against gatherings of more than 20 persons per the new Statutory Instrument in place since Sunday. We are told some candidates may still proceed with a motorcade, which would be limited to ten vehicles.
We’ll have updates through the course of the day.
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