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Jun 9, 2016

Is There an Amendment to the Referendum Act in the Offing?

Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez

Of concern to the B.P.P. is recent talk that the Referendum Act will be amended.  This, according to Bobby Lopez, has raised the ire of the party and, if necessary, its membership is prepared to take to the streets in protest.  Equally, there is unease in respect of the pending re-registration exercise which he says will directly affect the outcome of a referendum if the voters list isn’t tidied up properly.


Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez, Belize Progressive Party

“As you know, we recently completed the eight town/city tour with the B.N.T.U. and at one such forum, representatives of the government confirmed that government is planning to amend the Referendum Act.  Well, on that particular issue the B.P.P. has met and we vehemently oppose.  If necessary we will take to the streets, if necessary we have contemplated civil disobedience because we see it as part of their Four-A policy, acquiescing to Guatemala’s request.  So we were very much troubled and it was confirmed by the government that this is in the making and we are saying that we ask government to kindly not do this, it is not necessary.  It is a part of the constitution and our Referendum Act needs especially for this particular issue to remain as it is.  To simply go to elections with a simple majority will not be accepted.  We say keep our Referendum Act as it is and especially for this issue of national importance.  The next thing we’re calling for and vehemently doing so is that a re-registration, a cleaning up of our voters list must be done before we contemplate going to any referendum.  Of course, we can’t even reach the referendum until the senate the Compromis and the amendment to the Compromis.  So that is our very firm position on both the Referendum Act which they are contemplating and the re-registration, cleaning up of our voters list before any of this takes place.  The next [date] on the calendar for re-registration, of course, is 2017, twenty years after the first registration took place.”

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