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Election result “by the end of the night,” promises Election and Boundaries Department

Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020. 5:48 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: How soon will we know who forms the next Government of Belize?

The Elections and Boundaries Department and its returning officers promise results before the clock strikes midnight on November 11.

Voting, as determined by law, runs from seven a.m. to six p.m. Usually, counting begins at 8 p.m. but Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai says this will depend on how quickly the votes can be gotten to the central counting station in each constituency.

In rural districts with multiple polling stations often miles apart, it may take a little longer, but once all the boxes are in one place there will be reconciliation with the estimated number of ballot papers provided, after which it is go time.

Counting will be done simultaneously as possible across all 31 constituencies, though due to size some will finish faster than others.

And if any results are particularly close, the returning officer is obliged to hold a recount in a reasonable time.

A majority of sixteen seats or more for any political party gives them the right to appoint from their ranks the next Prime Minister, which in practice is the person that commands the support of the largest party bloc in the new House of Representatives.

By the same token, that person can ask the Governor-General to appoint six Senators, compared to three for the next largest bloc and four non-partisans: one each for the churches, the business community, trade union and civil society, and non-governmental organizations.


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