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Jul 22, 2015

Belize Won’t Go to the ICJ Without Referendum – Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wilfred Elrington

Those comments by the Vision Inspired by the People have also been expressed, to a large extent and just as vocally, by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the People’s National Party, which today called for the immediate resignation of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Those parties take huge offence, to put it mildly, to the decision to discuss the construction of the Forward Operating Base at the O.A.S.  They feel there is no need to, since it is proposed within Belizean territory. They also take offence to Elrington’s comments on going to the International Court of Justice, since he doesn’t use the word referendum. They say that suggests that going to the ICJ is a done deal. Elrington today agreed, on the record, that nothing goes forward without the mandate of the people.


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It’s always subject to the consent of the people; that is understood. I mean who don’t understand that now something got to be wrong with that. That is in fact the position we have taken formally, the documents are made public, the articulation of the need to go and get the consent of the people is clearly stated in those documents. So if I omitted to say it inadvertently the last time we met, it means nothing. There are those who want to create problem, there are those who want to make a quarrel, but that is not unusual. Historically, there have always been disputes and people have different views and that is what makes a democracy so strong and so good; that people are able to express their views and sometimes very forcefully. There is nothing wrong about that, but the truth is that we are at this position because notwithstanding the desire on the part of our government’s to proceed forward, governments act in accordance with the instructions that we get from our people. And if our people don’t want to go, fine; that is what it is going to be. The people will have their way. That is certainly my position. I don’t do anything without having the concurrence and the authority of the cabinet; nothing. Whatever you hear me expound upon is a position which in fact the cabinet has approved.”

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