ELECTORAL BRIBERY: Does it EXIST and are the existing laws NOT BEING ENFORCED?


  • Section 32 of the Representation of People’s Act, Chapter 9 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, R.E. 2003, states:

“Every person who, DIRECTLY or INDIRECTLY by HIMSELF or by ANY OTHER PERSON on his behalf, GIVES, LENDS or AGREES to GIVE or LEND, or OFFERS, PROMISES, or PROMISES TO PROCURE or to ENDEAVOUR TO PROCURE, any MONEY or VALUABLE CONSIDERATION to or for ANY VOTER, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person, IN ORDER TO INDUCE any VOTER TO VOTE or REFRAIN from VOTING, or CORRUPTLY does any such act as aforesaid on account of that voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election  …. shall be deemed guilty of BRIBERY … if the article exceeds twenty dollars ($20) in value.”

  • Section 36 of the Representation of People’s Act, Chapter 9 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, R.E. 2003, states:

“36(1)Every person who is guilty of BRIBERY, TREATING or UNDUE INFLUENCE shall be GUILTY of a CORRUPT PRACTICE, and is LIABLE on Summary Conviction thereof, to IMPRISONMENT for a TERM NOT EXCEEDING one (1) year, or to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or to both such find and period of imprisonment.”

  • Section 38 of the Representation of People’s Act, Chapter 9 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, R.E. 2003, states:

“Every person who- …(c) without due authority, SUPPLIES a BALLOT PAPER to any person; or (d) fraudulently puts into any ballot box any paper other than the ballot paper which he is authorised by law to put in; or (e) fraudulently takes out of a polling station any ballot paper… shall be GUILTY of a MISDEMEANOUR, and SHALL BE LIABLE, if he is a presiding officer or clerk employed at a polling station, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or to imprisonment for any terms not exceeding five (5) years, and, if he is any other person, to a fine, on summary conviction, not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or to imprisonment for any terms not exceeding three (3) years.”

  • Section 41:

“Every person who is convicted of BRIBERY, TREATING, UNDUE INFLUENCE, or PERSONATION, or of AIDING, COUSELLING or PROCURING the COMMISSION of the offence of PERSONATION shall (in addition to any other punishment) BE INCAPABLE during a PERIOD OF SEVEN (7) YEARS from the date of conviction:- (a) of being registered as a VOTER, or voting at any election of a Member of the House of Representatives; (b) of being a Member of the National Assembly or,IF ELECTED or APPOINTED BEFORE HIS CONVICTION, OF RETAINING HIS SEAT as such Member of the House of Representatives…”

If convicted, a person is barred from being a Member of the National Assembly (i.e. – either the House of Representatives or the Senate) for a period of 7 years following conviction. If they have already been sworn in, they must immediately demit or vacate office, and a By-Election (in which the VIOLATOR) will be barred from participating in, will be held within 90 days from the declaration of the vacant seat in the House of Representatives…

Are ANY POLITICIANS in your AREA or CONSTITUENCY guilty of ELECTORAL BRIBERY?

By: Marcel Porfirio Cardona Cervantes

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