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An update on the People’s Constitution Commission

HighlightsAn update on the People’s Constitution Commission

Photo: Hon. Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Constitutional and Political Reform

by Orlando Pulido

SANTA ELENA, Cayo District, Mon. Aug. 21, 2023

The People’s Constitution Commission (PCC) continues its outreach to the Belizean people. As recently as August 16 it had held an educational event at the San Pedro High School.

Minister of Constitutional Reform, Hon. Henry Charles Usher has updated us on the activities of the PCC. He said that the commissioners have undergone extensive training.

“The Constitution will come from the Belizean people … We have seen a lot of public participation,” he said. 

Minister Usher urges the Belizean people and those in the diaspora to go to the website www.pccbelize.com or visit the Facebook page of the PCC at People’s Constitution Commission Belize. 

He commented that we have learned from other countries in the Caribbean that other Constitution reform exercises have failed for two reasons—one being the politicization of the process, where the opposition just voted against it, and the other being a belief on the part of the populace that there was not enough participation. 

“I am glad that the PCC has the Opposition … all political parties are represented on the PCC, 23 organizations are represented,” Usher then noted.

“We need to move away from representative democracy where we elect representatives and then that is for five years, and move towards a participatory democracy where the Belizean people participate in the way to govern their country,” he went on to say. 

The PCC was created by Act No. 28 of 2022. The working group’s mandate is now to conduct a comprehensive review of the Belize Constitution and submit to the Prime Minister a final report on the findings of the review. The Prime Minister will then send the report to the National Assembly, where a decision will then be made on whether the findings of the report are significant enough to require a referendum. 

The Constitution of Belize came into effect on 21st September 1981. It is 163 pages in length with 154 Sections divided into 13 Parts or Chapters.
 

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