By Hilly Bennett
The landslide victory at the polls on Wednesday 11th of November 2020 by the People’s United Party with the Honourable John Briceño holding the helm became the political glue for the PUP’s COVENANT with the Belizean people.
A covenant is a type of contract between the covenantor and the covenantee. The people’s covenant was signed and ratified at the party’s manifesto launch at the Biltmore Plaza. Whether religious, civil, political, or otherwise, a binding promise is entered into when signatories sign unto covenants.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political was adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A ( XXI ) of 16th December 1966 which was entered into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49. It was recognized as that,” in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights…” one such political right was exercised when almost 82 percent of the electorate voted in the 2020 General Election on November 11, 2020.
The rights adopted by PUP standard-bearers were recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The People’s Covenant intends to eliminate injustices and prejudices rampant within the political system in Belize the residue of a corrupt, incompetent, visionless UDP Government. Daniel J. Eleazar in his book The Covenant Tradition in Politics wrote that” politics is found when and where a sense of injustice or inequality exists. At its core, politics is the act of removing such injustices or inequalities. Explained by J Horowitz, for Elazar, “politics did not so much denote parties and election but rather elements in the social life of a community, state, or nation that actively command the participation of ordinary people – the public if you will.”
For twelve long hard years the citizens, the marginalized, the single mothers, the disenfranchised youths within depressed environments have suffered from abuse neglect and political prejudices under the outgoing UDP administration. These individuals have been denied their basic rights embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Consequently, the, now, Prime Minister Honourable John Briceño has declared the end of these anomalies inflicted upon the masses through the entering of the Covenant with the people and the issuing of the people Bill of Rights. Pledge number 6 capsulize the intention of the PUP Bill of Rights: to work to eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity among Belizeans and to protect the rights of life, liberty, access to affordable education, universal health care, land and housing and the right to live in peaceful communities.
It is the writer’s opinion that the Peoples United Party covenant with the people is the impetus for the PUP creed “serve the people.” This important document ensures that the mandate with the citizenry be adhered to. The time has come when the attitude “that there exists only the common good” must be adopted and the assurance that the words will translate into deeds. Let the work begin with courage, ability, and honesty. Victory is ours!!