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4 Months In, What’s the Progress of the People’s Constitutional Commission?

May 9, 2023

4 Months In, What’s the Progress of the People’s Constitutional Commission?

Cesar Ross

While with the Director of the Good Governance Unit we asked for an update on the process for the revision of the Constitution of Belize, a daunting task that is expected to take eighteen months. Four months have already expired. Cesar Ross heads the Secretariat of the People’s Constitutional Commission. He says that they have been working on building the capacity of the commission.

Cesar Ross, Director, Good Governance Unit

“The one distinction that I think we did not pay enough attention to when it comes to actualizing this, is the fact that Barbados for instances, Jamaica, have technical commissions. In other words, they have specialists in constitution drafting and things like that and so they are going straight into. We have a sectoral commission; that means we have twenty-three different organizations represented by individuals who reflect our country and so themselves are not strong or comfortable with understanding our constitution and the constitution drafting process. And so we have spent the first three months building capacity, putting them through workshops, going through the different pillars of the constitution and we have found those very fruitful even for ourselves because we bring international, but we match with Belizean specialists as such. So we would have Darrell Bradley and somebody from IDEA, which is the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance from the Netherlands talk about systems of government and accountability. So we have been doing capacity building while at the same time we have been working – and Miss Bradley has been helping us in seeing and the chairman has been participatory in it – [on] how we do a soft launch before we do the hard launch. I have met with the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize at their general meeting and they have been very – initially a few of them reached out and they are hype with the idea of participating in this launch as such. So we have been doing this type of soft launch and we are going to continue working on that. But we are preparing to look at the hard launch.”

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