National Kriol Council “disappointed” that it would not be on the PCC
The National Kriol Council says it is disappointed that it is not going to have a seat on the People’s Constitution Commission. In a release issued today, the organisation says that when they heard Prime Minister John Briceño’s announcement during Monday’s House Meeting, they were in disbelief. The Council says it has made written and verbal representation to the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on the proposed Bill in July. The council says that after the Prime Minister stated publicly that the council would be included, they submitted that attorney-at-law Anthony Sylvestre and UB lecturer Adelia Young would be the council’s reps. For context, here’s what the PM said on Monday.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “I know there are a lot of different groups that wanted to be in the commission but we have already been at 25 members and if we continue taking more and more it’s going to be unwieldy we will not be able to do anything. Actually I would have wanted to cut down the numbers on the commission you see because it’s important to point out that the commission is not going to decide what is going to be approved they are just going to be the vessel for the process. They are going to be out there listening to the recommendations from different people so for instance my brother the Kriol Council who has not been too active for a very long time if they want whenever there is a meeting they can come and present their proposal, their ideas, their vision as to how they would want to see the changes in the constitution.”
The council says that not only was it displeased with the original oversight, but after hearing these comments – which the council says is confirmation of their exclusion – they are now hoping the Government reconsiders and reverses this decision. They call it “unconscionable” that Kriol people can be excluded from such an important democratic process. Its release ends by saying quote “We, therefore, call on the Government of Belize to honour its commitment to the NKC and to take urgent measures to amend the People’s Constitutional Commission Act to include the NKC” Unquote. The council says it also calls for the inclusion of any group who have actively sought representation on the commission.