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Feb 6, 2018

We Still Need Re-Registration, Says B.P.P.

Patrick Rogers

It has been legally due at least twice since it was first completed in 1997, but for various reasons was put off and postponed. We are talking about a complete re-registration of voters across the country, which should nominally take place every decade. Earlier, we told you that the Belize Progressive Party took a pause on whether it should pursue participation in the upcoming municipal elections. And while they have decided to fight, B.P.P. leader Patrick Rogers says the matter must be addressed more quickly than the planned July 2018 date.

 

Patrick Rogers, Political Leader, B.P.P.

“Belize, the re-registration exercise must be carried out. It’s really an uneven playing field, especially for us in the alternative party as we keep mentioning. So the fact that 1997 was the only re-registration that was done after independence and none has been done since, it’s actually over twenty years, when the laws were actually written that it be done every ten years. And so you say why the need for that? In ten years, Belize City especially is a transient population, so that most people do not reside where it is that they live. The fix is easy: Elections and Boundaries could get somebody that’s technical in there to put in an alternate address until such time as they transfer, but they don’t do that so we are at a severe disadvantage to find these voters before the election. And that is why we are saying we have to let it be known that we are on the ballot. Because of the way the playing field is stacked, there is not a whole lot we can do to reach you all before this election, so all that we can do is hope you vote for real change on March seventh, because there’s no way we can find you; logistically, it’s just impossible. So I’m making an appeal. Although we couldn’t find you, know that it wasn’t our intent to not reach you; that had we had a fair list, we would have been doing earnest to reach you with our message, because we have no money to be handed out.”

 

Rogers also called for the re-districting of electoral boundaries before the next general election. According to the Prime Minister, Government needed time to acquire and budget the twenty million dollar cost projected by the Elections and Boundaries Commission. The Prime Minister said the postponement also addresses another concern: tackling the thousands who got illegal nationality through the schemes in the Immigration Department prior to 2013, especially Guatemalans, and in so doing helping to clean up the list of voters for the referendum.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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