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Feb 4, 2019

P.U.P. Cranks Up ‘Vote No’ Campaign Ahead of April 10th Referendum

The People’s United Party on Saturday cranked up its ‘vote no to the I.C.J.’ campaign after its National Party Council unanimously supported the People’s Declaration. After completing his nationwide consultations, P.U.P. Leader John Briceño is convinced that the government has mismanaged the education campaign, leaving voter without enough information to make an informed decision. After a frank and open discussion, delegates from all thirty-one constituencies unanimously ratified the declaration, which makes certain demands on the government.  News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.  


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

On Saturday, the P.U.P.’s National Party Council unanimously supported the People’s Declaration in which the party lays out its reasons why it is recommending that Belizeans vote NO to the I.C.J.  P.U.P. Leader John Briceño says that several delegates of all thirty one constituencies were present for the meeting.


John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“Standard Bearers, local executives we have to go and give it out from house to house. Let’s explain it to our people what this declaration is saying. So that on April tenth our people are going to come out and we are going to say no to the I.C.J., ladies and gentlemen. The thirty one constituencies were here represented. Members of the executive were here. Members of the National Assembly were here. There were a few that did not come for, you know they were sick, they had some other prior engagements as to why they couldn’t come here. But there was full participation from the entire party; every organ of the party was present here today.”


P.U.P. Fort George Area Representative and Former Prime Minister Said Musa was absent. Like Briceño, Musa believes that a YES vote is the pathway leading to the permanent resolution to the dispute by the International Court of Justice. Within the party, Briceño’s YES stance faced tremendous opposition, mainly coming from the Southern and Western Caucus. So the question now is, is there animosity hovering over the People’s United Party following the results of the consultations?


John Briceño

“Absolutely not. Actually in every constituency that I went the people resoundingly tell you ‘no, we don’t trust the government, ‘we are not ready’, the education campaign and list can go on. In every constituency that I went it was a resounding no. So there is no animosity within the party. The party is united on this. Yes I know the former Prime Minister feels differently and that is his right as a member of the party and a Belizean citizen, if he wants to think differently. But there is no animosity. The party is united in its resolve to have the people of this country on the tenth of April to vote no.”


The topic of the I.C.J. Referendum is now completely polarized with the two major political parties at separate ends of the question. Nine days ago, the U.D.P. declared its official YES stance and with the P.U.P.’s NO position, voters are now left questioning, ‘Yes or No to the I.C.J.?’


John Briceño

“What we are doing is that everybody needs to go on the streets we need to have organized meeting. I am starting to have my neighborhood meeting starting next week. I try to have neighborhood meetings every Thursday in Orange Walk Central and go and give out leaflets and talking to the people about coming, why we believe that the county is not ready to go to the referendum on the tenth of April. If the government insists in having a referendum on the tenth of April then we will vote no. They’re working on plan with the banners and the Facebook and the TV and the Radio. All of that is coming into play. Just like the U.D.P. cranked up, we cranked up today.”


Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

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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