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PUP believes Belize’s constitution should disqualify domestic abusers from being members of parliament

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Posted: Monday, January 24, 2022. 9:42 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Patrick Faber may have resigned as the Leader of the United Democratic Party and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives but he is still the duly elected representative for the Collet constituency, a role he says he fully intends to continue. However, the People’s United Party thinks this shouldn’t be the case.

The PUP issued a statement today, which, apart from calling for Faber’s resignation, agreed with a previously made call from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) that the Belize Constitution be revisited to review the criteria for the disqualification of a Member of Parliament.

“To this end, the PUP supports that the Constitutional Reform Commission that is to be installed shortly, ensures that the criteria for the disqualification of Members of Parliament seriously considers the Code of Conduct of Members, which puts the Parliament in disrepute, particularly as it relates to gender-based violence,” the PUP said.

Whatever form the amendment takes, there would need to be some clarity with respect to the extent of the conduct that qualifies for disqualification as, notably, Faber has not been criminally charged or convicted of any crime and all complaints against him have been retracted.

If the conduct that amounts to disqualification is set at only a complaint being made, the amendment could be used against justified complaints as well as spitefully against a member of parliament.

With the constitutional majority that the PUP earned in the November 2020 General Elections, winning 26 seats, such a constitutional amendment can be passed with very little the opposition can do about it.

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