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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The People's Constitutional Commission is taking shape. The commission is being established to take a comprehensive look at the Constitution of Belize, as well openness and transparency in governance. The commission is also expected to deliberate Belize's decolonization process. Nationwide consultations are to be held by the commission on these issues. Back in March of this year, Minister Henry Charles Usher announced the creation of a Good Governance Unit under the Constitutional and Political Reform Ministry that will be the secretariat for the People's Constitutional Reform Committee. Today, reporters asked Prime Minister Brice�o for an update on the formation of the commission. Here is what he told us.

Prime Minister John Brice�o

"Yes, what happened is, we discussed it at the last Cabinet meeting. It was a lengthy discussion. It is important for us to start the process of setting up that commission. We want to ensure that commission can report back within one year. We are in the process of inviting persons from different sectors of the community, from the NGOS, to private sector, political parties, and so forth. I know now that I have heard some people in the media say well, no one has invited them from the media. I don't think it was done deliberately that we do not want to invite the media. If there is interest from the media, when we get back we can certainly take a look at that and invite a member of the media to be able to represent you all."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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People's Constitutional Commission Bill Finally Goes To House

The government is hoping to make more sweeping and substantial changes to the constitution using the People's Constitution Commission. As we told you, this Commission is being established because the Briceno administration wants to consult the general public on how best to amend the Constitution of Belize to make it fit the needs of 21st-century Belizean society.

After months of discussion, the Bill went back to the House and was finally passed. Here is the debate:

Henry Charles Usher - Minister of Constitutional & Political Reform
"Madam Speaker, as I had mentioned when the bill was first read back in July, it consists of five parts, twenty-five sections dealing with the establishment of the Commission: the composition and appointment of members, the functions and procedures of meetings. It also deals with the administrative process provisions of the P.C.C., including the establishment of the Secretariat, the Good Governance Unit. Madam Speaker, it also speaks about how the recommendations will go before the National Assembly. Very importantly, Madam Speaker, section seven deals with the independence of the Commission."

Moses "Shyne" Barrow - Leader of the Opposition
"The Opposition supports this bill, Madam Speaker, I must say that it is long overdue. I know that Prime Minister Musa had attempted, during his administration. I'm not sure if anything came of that. However, it is my hope that this People's Constitution [Commission] will discharge its mandate efficiently and that the goal is to protect rights and expand rights. So, I hope that we don't find ourselves in a position where rights are being taken away because we live in a democracy. We live in a nation of freedom, a nation where the rule of law trumps everything. And so, it really has to be that we are looking at how best we can protect the rights of all of our citizens, equal rights, all of their rights to end discrimination, to make access to justice, as the Minister of Education mentioned earlier. And I must say that in the House Committee meetings, I raised issues with the Committee, and the Minister of Political Reform and Constitution was there. And I am satisfied - cautiously - that he will follow through. The committee will follow through to ensure that there is as much inclusion as practicable."

Channel 7

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