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Cabinet urges plan for redistricting exercise ahead of November deadline

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Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021. 9:51 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Cabinet received an update from Henry Charles Usher, Minister of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, on the redistricting exercise and urged that a plan be finalized and presented to Cabinet.

The Supreme Court of Belize last year put off hearing the case of the Belize PEACE Movement, with Lord Michael Ashcroft as an interested party, against the Elections and Boundaries Commission concerning the long-overdue redistricting exercise.

The PEACE Movement sought such a redistricting before the 2020 election but was denied an injunction by Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana. The then-Opposition People’s United Party opposed the injunction in court and publicly promised to redistrict seats within its first year in office.

Belize currently has 31 constituencies and more than 175 thousand registered voters, of whom 81 percent came out to vote in the general election and slightly lower numbers for the municipal elections in March.

An “equal distribution” of parliamentary seats, the PEACE Movement’s experts suggest, would result in fewer seats in Belize City and more in rural areas like Stann Creek, Toledo, Cayo, and Orange Walk.

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