VIP Will Pursue Case against the Electoral Distribution

On October 15th less than a month before the general elections the  Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) filed a case at the Supreme Court in Belize City in an attempt to stay the elections from happening. The stance they took is that contrary to section 90 (1) (a) of the constitution of Belize the electoral division is not equally divided. We have the example of Belmopan, which has over 9 thousand voters, and Fort George and Albert, which have a little over 3 thousand voters. This was a matter that was brought up by the OAS observation team during their last visit in 2012 and is something that they brought up again this time around. It’s safe to say that to strong-arm the elections through the court system was VIP’s last resort after being somewhat crippled by the breakaway of some of their stronger politic personalities who chose to join the newly formed Belize Progressive Party. It was also their only way to play a role in this election as they had decided to sit this one out. They have since gotten a court date set for December 7th, But with the elections already behind, will their case hold any ground now? We spoke to chairman of the VIP Hubert Enriquez today.

Hubert Elrington, VIP Spokesperson: Having filed the claim, having filed the position we have now received a date for the court case which is to be held on the 7th December so that we are very pleased about the fact that we now have a date. But obviously the date is far removed from the vlcsnap-2015-11-09-22h07m52s4elections and we had wanted for the matter to be stayed and that is going to be an issue when we go to court on December 7th. . And so we will certainly bring up that matter of the fact that we had asked for it to be stayed when in fact it has been held already and so that is where we are at right now.

Emanuel Pech- Reporter: You asked for it to be stayed but now the elections have happened. what are you guys seeking now. will you guys still be seeking to nullify the results of the elections?

Hubert Elrington, VIP Spokesperson: Well,  thats a very difficult question  because the fact that the elections have been held and the victors have been declared it has really weakened our position. So I think it is a matter we need to consider. there is the provision for a 21 day petition, in fact there is a window where within 21 days of the election a petition can be made, and so there are some in our camp who believe  we ought to do that but having an election and having had the victors declared we will have to consider closely what will be our decision in that regard.

Hubert Enriquez, who is no stranger to politics, added to the conversation his opinion on how better distribution of the electoral boundaries would have affected the results of the voting last week.

 

Hubert Elrington, VIP Spokesperson: it there were more seats, if there were better distribution of the seats there would have been more seats garnered for perhaps opposition partis, perhaps even the BPP and that would have then left less seats for the government of the moment. I dont know if you have noticed, it was announced today, all of those who have won on the government side are now within the cabinet, that means there are now going to be resources spent, I dont believe that all those people have to be in cabinet, but its going to mean there are going to be resources spent on those persons, which in my mind, is totally unnecessary. Because certinly a cabinet does not have to comprise of 18 persons but had there been a better distribution f the seats ad the opposition would have won some seats it means there would be less persons in cabinet at the moment and less moneys paid out of the public purse those persons who were in cabinet. That is a direct consequence of what is happening right now. More than that though, it is clearly shown that in the areas where there is less representation there is more poverty. it is a serious issue and I know people feel that when we call for the matter of election to be stayed it sounds radically, but really and truly if we thing through it, there is logical basis for it.

VIP, who is being represented by Hubert Elrington, is taking the Attorney General and the Elections and Boundaries official to court for breach of constitution.

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