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Non-governmental organizations call on Government to pull the Constitutional amendment from today’s House meeting

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Posted: Friday, September 3, 2021. 10:23 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Network of Non-governmental Organizations (BNN) continues to oppose the amendment of the Constitution unless and until a Constitutional Assembly has been formed to consider a wholesale rewrite.

In that vein, the BNN has called on Belmopan to withdraw the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution which has cleared its 90-day consultation period and is up for second reading at today’s meeting of the House of Representatives. Senator Osmany Salas told reporters on Thursday that after twice writing to Government to make its concerns known, there has been no response.

The Amendment seeks to require that members of bodies such as the Belize Advisory Council, Election and Boundaries Commission, Public Service Commission, and Security Service Commission vacate their office at the next dissolution of the National Assembly after their appointment. This would, it is believed, hamper the independence of these bodies.

Senator Salas said the Government has done what is required under the law, namely waiting out the 90-day period and offering consultation, though what kind is debatable. But given its concerns, the NGOs say much more is needed.

We’ll continue to follow the story as the House meeting gets underway.

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