PART XII. Repeal and Date of Commencement
This Constitution shall come into operation on Independence Day:
Provided that sections 133 and 135 of this Constitution shall come into operation forthwith.
The Ordinances set out in Schedule 4 are revoked with effect from Independence Day.
PART XIII. Government Control over Public Utilities
For the purposes of this Part:-
- “public utilities” means the provision of electricity services, telecommunication services and water services;
“public utility provider” means–
- Belize Electricity Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, or its successors by whatever name called;
- Belize Telemedia Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, or its successors by whatever name called; and
- Belize Water Services Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, or its successors by whatever name called;
“Government” means the Government of Belize; “Government shareholding” shall be deemed to include any shares held by the Social Security Board; “majority ownership and control” means the holding of not less than fifty one per centum (51%) of the issued share capital of a public utility provider together with a majority in the Board of Directors, and the absence of any veto power or other special rights given to a minority shareholder which would inhibit the Government from administering the affairs of the public utility provider freely and without restriction.
144. Majority ownership and control of public utilities
- From the commencement of the Belize Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 2011, the Government shall have and maintain at all times majority ownership and control of a public utility provider; and any alienation of the Government shareholding or other rights, whether voluntary or involuntary, which may derogate from Government’s majority ownership and control of a public utility provider shall be wholly void and of no effect notwithstanding anything contained in section 20 or any other provision of this Constitution or any other law or rule of practice:Provided that in the event the Social Security Board (“the Board”) intends to sell the whole or part of its shareholding which would result in the Government shareholding (as defined in section 143) falling below 51% of the issued stock capital of a public utility provider, the Board shall first offer for sale to the Government, and the Government shall purchase from the Board, so much of the shareholding as would be necessary to maintain the Government’s majority ownership and control of a public utility provider; and every such sale to the Government shall be valid and effectual for all purposes.
- Any alienation or transfer of the Government shareholding contrary to subsection (1) above shall vest no rights in the transferee or any other person other than the return of the purchase price, if paid.
145. Validity of Acquisition Orders in respect of Belize Electricity Limited and Belize Telemedia Limited
- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the acquisition of certain property by the Government under the terms of-
- Electricity Act, as amended, and the Electricity (Assumption of Control Over Belize Electricity Limited) Order, 2011 (hereinafter referred to as “the Electricity Acquisition Order”); and
- Belize Telecommunications Act, as amended, and the Belize Telecommunications (Assumption of Control Over Belize Telemedia Limited) Order, 2011, (hereinafter referred to as “the Telemedia Acquisition Order”),
was duly carried out for a public purpose in accordance with the laws authorizing the acquisition of such property.
- The property acquired under the terms of the Electricity Acquisition Order and the Telemedia Acquisition Order referred to in subsection (1) above shall be deemed to vest absolutely and continuously in the Government free of all encumbrances with effect from the date of commencement specified in the said Orders.
- Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall prejudice the right of any person claiming an interest in or right over the property acquired under the said Acquisition Orders to receive reasonable compensation within a reasonable time in accordance with the law authorizing the acquisition of such property.
SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CONSTITUTION. Definition of Belize (Section 1)
- The territory of Belize comprises the mainland of Belize and all its associated islands and cayes within the area bounded by the frontiers with Guatemala and Mexico and the outer limit of the territorial sea of Belize described as follows:-
- the frontier with Guatemala is the line prescribed by the Treaty between the United Kingdom and Guatemala signed on 30 April 1859;
- the frontier with Mexico is the line prescribed by the Treaty between the United Kingdom and Mexico signed on 8 July 1893;
- the outer limit of the territorial sea of Belize is the limit provided by law measured from such baselines as may have been prescribed before Independence Day by law or otherwise, or as may be so prescribed thereafter,
and also includes the Turneffe Islands, the Cayes of Lighthouse Reef and Glover Reef, together with all associated islets and reefs, and their adjacent waters as far as the outer limit of the territorial sea appertaining to them.
- The area referred to in paragraph 1 of this Schedule includes, but is not limited to, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Long Caye, Frenchman’s Caye, St. George’s Caye, Sergeant’s Caye, Goff’s Caye, English Caye, Rendezvous Caye, Bluefield Range of Cayes, Southern Long Caye, Columbus Caye, Fly Range of Cayes, Tobacco Range of Cayes, Southern Water Caye, Carrie Bow Caye, Gladden Caye, Silk Cayes, Pompion Caye, Ranguana Range of Cayes, Sapodilla Range of Cayes, Snake Cayes, all islands and cayes associated with the above-mentioned cayes, and all other cayes lying within and along the Barrier Reef.
SCHEDULE 2 TO THE CONSTITUTION. Alteration of Constitution (Section 69)
Provisions of Constitution referred to in section 69(3)-
- Part II;
- sections 55 to 60 (inclusive), 84, 85, 88 to 93 (inclusive);
- Part VII;
- sections 52(2), 54, 108(7) and (8), 109(6) and (7), and 111;
- sections 105 and 106.
SCHEDULE 3 TO THE CONSTITUTION. Form of Oath and Form of Affirmation (Section 131(1))
Form of Oath
Oath of Allegiance and Office
I, ____________________________, do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize, and will uphold the Constitution and the law, and that I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability discharge my duties as [ ] and do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. [So help me, God.]
Form of Affirmation
Affirmation of Allegiance and Office
I, ____________________________, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize, and will uphold the Constitution and the law, and that I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability discharge my duties as [ ] and do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
SCHEDULE 4 TO THE CONSTITUTION. REVOCATIONS
Ordinance Revoked / References
British Honduras Constitution Ordinance, 1963. / No. 33/1963
British Honduras Constitution (Amendment) Ordinance, 1966 / No. 23/1966
British Honduras Constitution (Amendment) Ordinance, 1970 / No. 9/1970