OAS Mission arrives in Belize to observe elections
While the prince is on his way to Belize, an Observer Mission from the Organization of American States has arrived to monitor the March seventh national elections. The three representatives were tied up in a meeting throughout the afternoon with the Elections and Boundaries Commission at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany Street. In the conference room, they signed an agreement on the conditions of the mission. According to Frank Almaguer, who heads the group, though there are only three of them, they have twenty observers to see how our processes work from the preparation to the counting process.
Frank Almaguer, Head of OAS Mission
“We’re delighted to be in Belize and we are pleased that the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the government and the authorities invited the OAS to come and observe the general elections for March the seventh which is the first time that Belize is having OAS observers. Belize has had observers from other international observers but the first time from the OAS. This is the fiftieth year that the OAS is conducting electoral observation missions around the region and we are very pleased to add Belize to list of countries to participate in the OAS electoral observation process. Our role here is as the word indicates to observe the process. We are learning about how the process should take place according to the Belizean constitution and law and so we will observe how it takes place on election day, we will be traveling around the country in the next few days before the elections to observe the preparations leading up to the elections, we will be here through the counting of the ballots and we will then reassemble with the authorities and provide our comments. Eventually this will turn into a report from us to the Organization of American States. It’s important because we want to make sure that every country that is a member of the OAS to have the opportunity to invite the OAS to observe the elections. In fact the Secretary General Jose Insulza stated that he would like to see every country in the western hemisphere invite the OAs to observe their elections. If I may ad on a personal note, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Orange Walk forty-five years ago. So I am delighted to be back in Belize—a country not only that I know so well, but that I truly love because that 2 year experience as a peace corps volunteer can never be erased. And so when the Secretary General invited me to head this mission I was delighted on two levels: number one; that I believe that democracy and elections as part of that democratic process are vital and also because anything that has to do with Belize is part of my personal history and I am very fund of the country. And I know that Belize will have more to teach to other member states about how it carries out some processes.”
After the elections, the OAS will prepare a report on the how the elections were conducted.Email This Story