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Jun 29, 2016

G.O.B. Will Change the Referendum Act When Sarstoon Protocols Established

Dean Barrow

To referendum or not to referendum – that is the question or at least one of the questions. Another involves the amending of Belize’s Referendum Act. It’s been reported that Guatemala wants Belize to change its law so that a simple majority would pass the vote. Currently, there needs to be a sixty percent threshold. Today, the Prime Minister clarified G.O.B.’s intention where that Act is concerned.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We certainly have the intention of amending the Referendum Act to remove that high threshold. I believe the Foreign Minister has indicated that the international community; in particular, the group of friends who have been so forthcoming in helping to fund the O.A.S. office in the Adjacency Zone and the O.A.S. presence in Belize. That group is getting a little bit impatient. They feel that not enough progress is being made, with respect to the referendum. And try and we might in telling them that it is not our fault; we are ready to go just about whenever, they do point to the fact of this high—what they view as—abnormal threshold in terms of our law. It is their feeling that that would make it next to impossible or that any vote on that basis would not be a fair vote in terms of the internationally accepted standards. I see merit in the argument. When the Opposition did appear to be desirous of a united front with us, I am sure that I heard various of their personalities say they also shared that view. And so long story short, we are prepared to make a change, but as I’ve said to cabinet, there is no way we can make such a change while the matter of the Sarstoon is still outstanding. So that’s where we are.”

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