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Apr 18, 2018

Ex-Belize F.M. Not Impressed

Lisa Shoman

Senior attorney Lisa Shoman, who has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under Said Musa’s administration and has been an ambassador to the United States and permanent representative to the Organization of American States, as well as put in valuable time on Belize’s diplomatic team attending to the Guatemalan claim, has a different view to the voter turnout.  Today, she gave her analysis of Sunday’s referendum on the International Court of Justice. As Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel Polanco maintains, Guatemala considers the twenty-six percent voter turnout to exceed expectations, but from Belize’s side, says Shoman, it is a dismal result considering the resources that the much larger Guatemala spared, including open backing from President Jimmy Morales.


Lisa Shoman, Former Foreign Affairs Minister

“The initial reaction is that no matter how Guatemala tries to spin it, the voter turnout was an abysmal failure for the government of Guatemala. They put in considerable resources, including presidential integrity, and the Foreign Minister herself was a part of the push to get people not only to turn out, but to vote yes. In terms of getting those who did turn out to vote yes, that is a success for them; but that really is a no-brainer. If I say to you, would you like a chance to win a Wingle; all you have to do is turn up and tick a box that says yes, it is hardly likely that you will vote no, unless there is a good reason for you to do so. What was an abject failure and it doesn’t matter how they try to spin it, was the fact that seventy-five percent of Guatemalans didn’t turn out to vote. To put that in perspective, it’s as if in the referendum for Brexit in the U.K., seventy-five percent of people in Britain hadn’t turned out to vote at all, and only [twenty-five] percent or so had turned out. And it doesn’t matter that you tell me that previous referendums had been at ten, or eighteen; the fact remains that seventy-five percent of Guatemalans do not think that it is important enough for them to leave their houses on a Sunday, and cast their vote for any possibility of anything being obtained by going to the I.C.J. And that’s a hugely, loudly negative message against President Jimmy Morales and his Government.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Ex-Belize F.M. Not Impressed”

  1. Maynor says:

    At last someone is looking at the real stats. 70+ of guatemalans are not even remotely interested on the issue. There are for more important things that are dragging their country into a fail state. How can the PM and FM not see this?

  2. bernie says:

    good onw

  3. bernie says:

    What she states above is exactly what happen in Belize at election time. We give away a bag of rice to the poor and the officials gets the wingle. Its is OK in Belize,but not Guatemala.

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