The Most Unconstitutional Election in Belize’s History – 11/11/2020 by: Aria Lightfoot

The National Election has been called in Belize for 11/11/2020 and we are heading into one of the most unconstitutional elections in the History of Belize.  After 39 years of Independence we have failed miserably at nation building.  Both major political parties have engaged in unprecedented theft of the taxpayer’s resources.  Since the onset of Independence, Belizeans have witnessed the largest transfer of public resources into private hands through special bloated contracts, mass land transfers, special accommodations, private legal fees, and tax evasion.  We have seen the mass accumulation of billions of dollars in public debt.  The citizens of Belize are burdened with poverty bordering 50%; escalating crime rates, lack of justice in the system, poor quality housing and no ladders to climb out of poverty.  This is the price we have paid for corruption. 

Why are our elections unconstitutional? According to Section 90 and 91 of the Constitution of Belize, The Elections and Boundaries, comprised of appointed members of both the United Democratic Party and the People’s United Party,   are constitutionally mandated  to make recommendations to protect the rights of  every citizen by making the vote as equal as possible.  This redistricting exercise has been ignored for four election cycles. In fact, the Fort George Division has one representative for about 1,600 citizens and the Stann Creek West Division has one representative for 8,000 citizens.   All these divisions are afforded similar resources, giving a division like Fort George, five times the resources per citizen and a louder voice in the House of Representative than Stann Creek West.  If you live in Belmopan and rest of Cayo District, Stann Creek District and Toledo District you are disenfranchised as a voter because your current representative has chosen to ignore this issue.  

The sad thing is that many citizens may not have recognized this disenfranchisement because political parties use voting as a tool to win elections. Voting in Belize is not about democracy or the rights of citizens.  Political parties and many citizens engage in mass voter fraud when voting in divisions they do not live or have a vested interest.  The political parties treat voting as a barter system and therefore when a party emerges successful after strategically manipulating elections, the representation goes to the political party and not the division or the citizens of that division.  The people of Belize has yet to recognize their voting power.

The ruling United Democratic Party has been in charge for three election cycles and has failed to re-district.  The Opposition is not an innocent bystander either as they have failed to raise these major constitutional issues leaving it instead to a non-profit group called Belize Peace Movement.  It goes without saying that the Election and Boundaries, the ruling government and the Opposition have all been derelict in their mandate to follow the Constitution.

Another major unconstitutional matter is the United Democratic Party fielding a candidate to run in National Elections who was born in Guatemala.  By the Prime Minister’s own admission, the reluctance of Guatemala to rescind the citizenship of her citizens runs amuck of the Constitution of Belize. Those who are born in Guatemala are simply not allowed citizenship of Belize and even more egregious, allowed to represent Belizeans in the House of Representatives.  The Prime Minister, the Immigration Department, the Opposition and the Elections and Boundaries are all very much aware of this and yet this vagrant violation continues unabated.   Again, political parties, acting in the interest of their parties’ success fail to hold our laws and Constitution Supreme.   Today, Belize is on a sliding scale for the rule of law with one of the lowest ranking in Latin America and the Caribbean. (see the Rule of Law Index).  Sadly, even the third parties have failed to articulate these issues because it seems that those in Belize who want to lead us, those who want access to our resources;  simply don’t want to read or follow the Constitution of Belize. 

The Constitution of Belize gives all government bodies and arms of government their power and all government bodies and arms of government are subservient to the Constitution. It is the responsibility of those we elect and all those mandated to protect the Constitution to run our country where the Constitution is Supreme;  and they all should be held legally accountable when they are derelict in their duties.