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PEACE Movement says Elections and Boundaries Commission has ‘rejected’ settlement offer in re-districting case

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Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2021. 11:11 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to the Belize PEACE Movement in a press release, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has refused an offer of settlement as directed by Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana.

Chief Justice Arana directed legal counsels for both sides to negotiate a settlement of the Movement’s claim.

The BPM’s terms included: the Elections and Boundaries Commission acknowledges that the Electoral Divisions in Belize do not have as nearly as may be an equal number of persons eligible to vote, as required by the Belize Constitution; undertakes its duty to lay before the National Assembly, by July of 2022, a proposal to re-division Belize as mandated by the Belize Constitution, and desist from conducting General Elections unless and until the divisions of Belize are made compliant with the Belize Constitution.

The Government said it would produce the redistricting plan within a year of taking office, and the next general election, though it can be called at any time, is due five years from last December when the first meeting of the House of Representatives was called.

The BPM says no counter-offer was proposed. Consequently, the Claimants have asked the Court to make a formal judgment in the matter. The Honorable Court is now left to respond.

Belizeans can be assured that the Belize Peace Movement will pursue this matter until the requirements of the Belize Constitution is met so that all votes cast in Belize are of equal value.

The BPM calls on the Elections and Boundaries Commission to expeditiously settle this long outstanding matter which falls short of the ideals set out in the Inter-American Democratic Charter acceded to by Belize, continues to undermine our democracy and deny Belizeans of their fundamental rights.

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