Teacher’s Union Calls 2012 Nationality Rush “Illegal”
Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan has admitted that thousands of persons who did not qualify were granted nationality in the mad rush to get them on the voters list for the 2012 elections. The effect is that the fraudulent exercise would have tipped the elections in favor of the U.D.P. Today, the Belize National Teachers Union via a release called on government to clean up the voter registration list. On Saturday, at a council of management meeting, the union which has been fighting for good governance expressed alarm about the disturbing revelations coming out of the Special Select Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s report on Immigration. National President Luke Palacio says that the nationality process prior to the 2012 elections was illegal and tarnishes the democracy of the country.
Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.
“As it relates to the granting of nationality, they are using the word that it is irregular, but in our view it is also illegal in terms of how that was done and that those individuals who were given nationality just prior to the national elections were allowed to vote therefore that tarnishes our democracy; our democratic process of life in Belize. And so it is obvious that persons who participated in the elections, some persons who participated in the elections, probably determined the outcome of the elections, but they don’t live in this country. And then we are left with the type of governance that ensues following a general election. We have heard of these complaints many years now; so it is not a matter of say we are targeting the present administration. It is just coincidental that the revelation is being made now as occasioned by this inquiry by the Senate Select Committee. We in the B.N.T.U. had fought for good governance; we continue to fight for good governance in this country. And if the law says that re-registration is to take place every ten years then let us do that. Let us not try and play a game with our political democracy because it is not auguring well for our country. We are saying to the government, the Constitution of Belize says that re-registration needs to be done every ten years; both political parties in the past have agreed to postpone it for whatever reason. Whether it is for political expediency or not, the time has come for those things to change. We are saying the re-registration should be done in 2017, let us get it done.”