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May 12, 2015

Leader of the Opposition Unaware that G.O.B.’s Decision was Final

Francis Fonseca

So what’s the Opposition’s take on the impending amendment to the special agreement between Belize and Guatemala? P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca told us that a few weeks ago PM Dean Barrow informed him that he had discussed the matter of the referendum with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina.

 

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“He said the President said to him that holding the referendum was a substantial cost to the Government of Guatemala, and so it was their intention to have that referendum coincide with presidential elections as a cost-saving measure. He, Prime Minister Barrow, indicated to me that he made it very clear to the President of Guatemala that Belize was not prepared to and was not in a position to hold a referendum this year. And they could not agree. The President was insisting that we should as the compromise requires now that these referenda be held simultaneously. So there could be no agreement. So he indicated to me that there was discussion about amending the compromise to allow Guatemala to proceed with the holding of their referendum this year, and Belize would hold its referendum at a later date. He indicated to me that Foreign Minister Elrington would be holding further discussions on this matter and he would be preparing a proper statement which would be issued to the Belizean people on this matter outlining the position of the government and the rationale behind any proposed amendment. He undertook that Foreign Minister Elrington would share that with me before anything was done. To date I have not heard from Foreign Minister Elrington. In principle we have no objections to the amendment to the compromise, but we want it to be done in consultation with the Belizean people, and that is what I told Mr. Barrow. Before any final decision is taken the Belizean people should be formally consulted and properly informed as to why any such amendment is being discussed, proposed…so if in fact Foreign Minister Elrington is in fact preparing to go to some meeting at which he plans to sign such an amendment then I am very disappointed.”

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