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Feb 18, 2019

P.U.P. Demonstrates in Front of Vital Stats

For years, complaints against the Vital Statistics Unit have been mounting. In December 2018, former Prime Minister Said Musa told parliament that there are many wrongs at the unit where even rodents were eating documents. Musa said that what is happening in the Vital Statistics Department poses a serious threat to the democratic system of governance. P.U.P. Leader John Briceño today led an ‘impromptu’ demonstration in front of the offices, to express the party’s dissatisfaction at what it describes as frustration experienced by many Belizeans. According to Briceño, the many flaws of the unit are causing thousands of P.U.P. voters to be disenfranchised from registering to vote in the upcoming I.C.J. Referendum.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“There are thousands of Belizeans across the length and breadth of his country that were registered to vote, they have their social security card but because they are unable to get their new birth certificates they can’t reregister. Here we have a very important referendum on the tenth of April to decided whether we go or not to the I.C.J. something that is an existential threat to this country. We have thousands of Belizeans that cannot get their documents so that they can register. There are thousands of people down south who cannot get their birth certificates. For a person down south to come to Belize City to get their birth certificates, it cost them a lot of money and time. For them to get early in the morning on a bus, come and try and get breakfast, get in line to try to get inside. When you get inside they tell you to come back and when you come back they can’t find the documents. This is unacceptable. The government even changed the law to have more control of Vital Stats. That is very worrisome when the politicians are trying to get their hands as to what is taking place at Vital Stats. The point we are trying to make here, is that all of a sudden now people can’t get their documents. What the hell is going on? Why can’t our people get their birth certificates? This again is another example of the incompetence of this government. Nothing in this country is working. We are going to spend millions of dollars on a referendum on the I.C.J. and people won’t be able to vote because they can’t get their birth certificates? This is the first step. We have to bring it up to the National Assembly. You all can’t conceive what it is to wake up in a village in Punta Gorda before four o’clock in the morning to be able to catch a bus, to come right here, for people who are barely making ends meets, for them to spend thirty dollars to come here and to apply for a birth certificate and then to come back and still don’t get their birth certificate, man…”


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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