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Oct 25, 2017

Belize Plans Referendum on I.C.J. after Municipals

Pat Andrews

On Monday, we reported that the Guatemalan government has decided that the referendum on taking the territorial claim to Belize will be held on March eighteenth 2018. That country is expected to spend some forty million U.S. dollars to carry out the poll to decide the question: “Do you agree that any legal claim by Guatemala against Belize on continental inland territories and any maritime areas corresponding to those territories be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final determination and that it determines the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?” Today, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pat Andrews, reaffirmed that the government is sticking to its deadline of convening the poll after the municipal elections next year.

 

Pat Andrews, C.E.O., Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“As far as the referendum for Belize goes, as the Prime Minister indicated, we will move along the lines of first completing our municipal elections and then it is slated that maybe sometime around maybe June, the re-registration process can start, the review of the electoral process can start. And then we will be looking at that taking us up to maybe the end of 2018, so late 2018, early 2019 we are hoping to be ready for referendum.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now the question will be the same as that for Guatemala?”

 

Pat Andrews

“The same…both in English and Spanish.”

 

Duane Moody

“When it comes to what is needed because I believe in Belize’s law it is fifty percent plus one to determine if we do or do not go to the I.C.J.  Does that remain the same?”

 

Pat Andrews

“That remains the same; that’s the threshold yes.”

 

Reporter

“Now if it fails in Guatemala, what happens next?”

 

Pat Andrews

“Good question Jules. I think if it fails in Guatemala, it will put us in a situation where we will have to decide whether or not it is worth the while for us to proceed. That has not been determined as yet.”

 

Reporter

“But you all are praying for every success?”

 

Pat Andrews

“We are praying for every success indeed and we will be continuing with our awareness campaign that continues unabated to prepare our people for referendum.”

 

Reporter

“Are you concerned that they haven’t really started their awareness campaign yet?”

 

Pat Andrews

“Well they announced that their education campaign is in process so I think that will accelerate also because they are getting funds to be able to assist them.”

 

Reporter

“The Guatemalan government has budgeted forty million U.S. dollars. How much have we budgeted for that referendum process?”

 

Pat Andrews

“Forty million U.S. yes. No we are not to that level of funds, but we will be budgeting enough and be able to access some money from elsewhere.”

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