BELIZE CITY, Tues. Jan. 26, 2021– The Public Service Commission, under section 105 (2) of the Belize Constitution, is to be appointed by the Governor-General after he has received the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Sub-section 6 of 105 also outlines that the members of the commission may be removed if they are unable to carry out the functions of their office or for misbehavior.
The legislation also clearly outlines, however, that the appointments must be made by the Prime Minister. November 11, 2020 marked the start of a new Government of Belize, but to date, the UDP-appointed Public Service Commissioner and the members of the commission have refused to resign, effectively barring the new Prime Minister from exercising his constitutional right to select the members of his own Public Service Commission.
Prime Minister John Briceño, while being questioned by members of the media, said that he was disappointed with their decision. “They should have resigned from the twelfth of November. They haven’t as yet. They need to understand that there is a new government and as a new government it has been the practice from Independence that when a new government comes in, everybody resigns, and so I am very disappointed that they have not resigned as yet, and I hope that can be addressed very soon,” he said.
Sub-section 7 of 105 provides for members to be removed by the Governor-General upon the advice of the Belize Advisory Council. The Commission can be investigated if the Prime Minister chooses to submit a request for the removal of a member of the commission to the Governor-General.