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Jun 5, 2018

O.A.S. Asked to Observe Re-Registration; EBC Not Constituted

Ahead of the start of the process, the P.U.P. has called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to invite, as the Manuel Esquivel government did in 1997, the Organization of American States to an electoral observer mission. The P.U.P. leader shared the party’s concerns including a lack of recognition for the five members on the Elections and Boundaries Commission. However, he noted that in the case of Belizeans living outside the territory, not much can be done to bring them in on the re-registration process, due to the rigid rule requiring two months of residency in Belize to qualify to vote.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader, P.U.P.

“Need I remind you that the O.A.S. was here in Belize for the first re-registration back in 1997, and we are once again inviting them to come as observers, because we have a number of issues of grave concerns. First of all, the Elections and Boundaries offices are operating without a board; none of the commissioners have been appointed. We have been calling their attention, we have written letters to the Prime Minister as to when these commissioners are going to be named. We are very concerned that we believe that the Elections and Boundaries offices are being run by the political directorate, because there is no board; our commissioners have not been sworn in as yet, so that is of grave concern. We also have concerns about some of the decisions that Elections and Boundaries officers have made. For instance, under the law, during re-registration, they need to go to every single village to make the process easier for Belizeans to get re-registered. And we have been informed that they are not going to do that; that they are only going to go to certain villages and then everybody else has to come to these villages and they are citing budgetary concerns. But I don’t think that we can ever spend too much money when it comes to protecting the democracy of Belize and the integrity of that voters’ list. The other concern that we have is that they are saying that they will not do monthly revisions that they are looking at probably doing the first monthly revision in November. And by then, we’re going to have thousands of names that we will have to be revisiting, and we believe that it creates an opportunity for mischief.  I don’t think there’s supposed to be any concern because the laws are very clear; you need to be living in Belize at least two months, and if these Belizeans want to be able to be a part of the decision-making process in this country, then they need to be living in Belize at least two months before they register.”

 

The P.U.P. intends to also write O.A.S. Secretary-General Jose Luis Almagro directly and copy him the letter to P.M. Barrow.

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