Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022. 10:30 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The People’s Constitutional Commission (PCC) is holding its inaugural meeting in Belize City to set out the lengthy process toward a new legislative founding document.
After a public introduction to the press, the first of a planned three working sessions for the rest of 2022 will be held, according to Commission Chairman Anthony Chanona.
A total of 23 organizations are represented on the Commission, ranging from political parties to civil society to minority rights organizations.
It will be tough to rein in all the expected egos but Chanona says he expects the end product to count, signaling that the Act passed in the National Assembly at the end of October will have to be amended to allow the results of the Commission in report form to be read in the National Assembly rather than simply laid on the table, and for the Commission to “own” its work by not being dissolved on their presentation of the report but to continue defending their work up to a potential referendum on its acceptance.
Chanona added that there will be efforts to not only engage Belizeans throughout the 18-month process, but to do long overdue education on the form, structure and content of the Constitution and its relevance to them. There will also be efforts to reach out to the Diaspora and obtain their differing views.
20 organizations appeared at today’s launch as it started, with the representatives of the minor political parties and Women’s Commission absent, the former through illness.
Curiosly, the ruling People’s United Party (PUP) as announced by Chanona has yet to name its representative and alternate.