VIP to refile election redistricting case

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The case of Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) and the Southern Belize Coalition for Equal Political Representation and Development versus the Election and Boundaries Commission was scheduled to have been heard this afternoon before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. But it was not, as attorney representing the political party, Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington, was forced to withdraw the matter. It appears to be a case of shooting oneself in the foot, as according to VIP Chairman Hubert Enriquez, their case had several flaws vlcsnap-0392-09-06-12h07m13s024that prevented it from moving forward today. He told us more in a telephone interview.


Hubert Enriquez, VIP Chairman: Having file the case over 2 months ago, today we have since been told by our attorneys that there were some technical difficulty with the case and that there were some deficiencies in the filing, and so he has said to us that we’ll do a re-file. And so what is happening now is that the case is being re-filed and that anytime now we’re going to hear when it will be heard again. But we really need the case to go ahead in the same basis and is to say that we want to ensure that the government and election and boundaries department honor the constitution as it relates to the matter of the proportionality of the constituencies.

Enriquez told us he does not know for sure when the case will be called back up after it is refiled, but they are not planning to give it up regardless of the outcome. Information to us is that the Election and Boundaries Department is going ahead to a redistricting process. We asked Enriquez about this and he said that the primary issue now is that it gets done; however, whether it is done or not does not affect their case except on the matter of constitutionality of the election.

Hubert Enriquez, VIP Chairman: Well as far as we are concerned we just need to make sure it gets done and so there was an issue regarding whether or not the elections has been declared unconstitutional. We are not going to press that issue, what we want to see done is that they get it done and certainly for the future whenever elections are called, that that has to be in place for them nuh. At this point in time, they have declared to be cleared already by the national body OAS who had an observer team here, and it seems that it has been accepted by the Belizean People so at this point in time we are more interested in making sure that the government complies with the constitution as it relates to the matter.

Enriquez explained that they want the Court to set guidelines for the process, however they may agree to any decisions by the Department if they are satisfied by them.

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