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May 23, 2018

Diaspora Belizeans Shut Out of Re-Registration over Residency

Josephine Tamai

Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai appeared on this morning’s Open Your Eyes to discuss the upcoming re-registration process. The first and only re-registration of voters took place in 1997 and has been repeatedly put off, but it is law and applicable to all of Belize’s two hundred and four thousand voters, even those who may have registered to vote before the start of re-registration on July first. That means that you must, once you are eighteen and over and a citizen of Belize, or of any Commonwealth country and living here for twelve months and in your specific division for two, find the registration office for your constituency in July and August. But what does that mean for Belizeans living outside of the country? Tamai explains the procedure.

 

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer

“One of the qualifications is you need to reside at that address, for not less than two months. So for persons living abroad, they haven’t resided in Belize within a constituency in the last two months, so those persons would not meet the criteria.”

 

John Palacio

“Wow.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“The only people would be persons on official work duty?”

 

Josephine Tamai

“Right, because in terms of residence, the Constitution speaks to residence, and it defines residency if you’re out on the service of the Government of Belize; if you’re out for some medical attention which is beneficial to your health, approved by a medical practitioner – again, for those persons and those persons who are [on] approved course of studies; so those three categories, if those persons are out, then it is not considered that they are not residents of Belize; they are still a resident of Belize.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“What type of proof do they have to provide, for example those students who are studying at this time?”

 

Josephine Tamai

“For students, they have to provide proof that they are a student; so we would have to get records from the school to show that you are a student.”

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1 Response for “Diaspora Belizeans Shut Out of Re-Registration over Residency”

  1. Belizean Boy says:

    Lies…At every election there are hundreds of guatemalans who cross the border, not having one of the requisites,- living in the country fr two months prior to any elelction. We see this every time in Benque how they cross in hordes and no official checks are made.
    If there is any objection in court it goes no where- this is a fact. It happened for the last general election right here in Benque. These public officers are a disgrace. They should uphold the law, but instead they just agree to whatever the politicians tell them. Shame.

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