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Nov 25, 2016

Amended Special Agreement to be Ratified; Simultaneous Referenda for I.C.J. Scrapped

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

In respect of the Special Agreement known as the Compromis, Elrington admits that while both countries were bound to that accord, it was quickly realized that simultaneous referenda would not have been convenient for either Belize or Guatemala. 


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Special Agreement is nothing other than a mechanism which we had to sign on to as part of the requirement of the laws of the ICJ for us to be able to access their services.  We had to get a referendum decision by the people, okay.  When we initially signed that agreement in 2008, the contemplation was that we would both hold the election on the same day.  But difficulties arose immediately thereafter because, for one, the Guatemalans normally hold their elections on a Sunday.  We never hold elections on Sundays and for that and other reasons it was thought that making the requirement a simultaneous referendum may be difficult for us to attain.  It would be easier, it is thought, for us to go at the times most convenient for each country and so that’s all we have done.  We have amended to allow for each country to choose its own time to go for the referendum.”

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