Electoral Management Bodies
Belize has two Electoral Management Bodies (EMB), The Elections and Boundaries Commission and The Elections and Boundaries Department. Each EMB is a separate, legal entity.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission
The Elections and Boundaries Commission was created through legislation in 1978 and was fully responsible for administration and staffing of all electoral matters. At Belize’s Independence in 1981, the functions and appointment of the Elections and Boundaries Commission were enshrined in the Belize Constitution under Section 88. This section was amended in 1988. The Commission comprises of one Chairman and four members , a total of five persons.
When our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided.
Section 88 (2) states that the Governor-General appoints the Chairman and the four members who shall be persons of integrity and high national standing:
- The Chairman and two Members: “acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition
- The remaining two Members: “acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition”
The functions of the Commission is reflected in Section 88 (13) (14) and Section 90 of the Belize Constitution as follows:
(13) “The Commission shall be responsible for the direction and supervision of the registration of voters and the conduct of elections, referenda and all matters connected therewith.”
(14) In the exercise of its functions, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority and shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, act in accordance with the Representation of the People Act or any other law, rule or regulation relating to elections.”
In reference to Section 11 (2), (Administrative Provisions) of the Representation of The People Act, the Elections and Boundaries Commission confers its powers and duties on the Head of the Elections and Boundaries Department, the Chief Elections Officer who is responsible for administration. The Chief Elections Officer is not a member of the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
(1) “The Elections and Boundaries Commission shall, after considering the distribution of the population throughout Belize, make proposals from the time to time for dividing Belize into electoral divisions.”
(2) “The proposals of the Commission made pursuant to this section shall be laid before the National Assembly by the Chairman of the Commission.”
Under Section 90 (1) (2), the Elections and Boundaries Commission is the only Electoral Management Body that is empowered to making proposals on Boundary Redistricting to the National Assembly
- Chairman – Mr. Oscar Sabido Puga
- Member – Mr. Conrad Lewis
- Member – Mr.Orlando Espat
- Member – Mrs. Phillippa Griffith Bailey
- Member – Mr. Alberto August
Other Electoral Bodies
The Elections and Boundaries Department
- Organizing and directing the registration of voter
- Compiling electoral registers
- Updating and maintaining electoral records
- Organizing the conduct of elections
- Transfer of Electors