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Mar 12, 2019

Last Call for Re-Registration

Today was the final day to register for the April tenth referendum. In Belize City, long lines were formed at various registration centres as electors waited to apply to be placed on the voters list. Only those persons who applied for registration will be able to vote yes or no on whether to take the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala to the International Court of Justice.  This evening, News Five’s Isani Cayetano visited three locations in the Old Capital where he found a few familiar faces waiting for a turn at getting their names on the new voters list.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A last-minute effort by eligible persons wanting to participate in the upcoming I.C.J. referendum has resulted in snaking lines at Elections and Boundaries centers across Belize City.  At 4:30 this evening, many were still standing in queues leading from inside offices on Cemetery Road and Sun Dry Street.   On Euphrates Avenue, an elderly woman was being attended to inside a vehicle.  It’s the final day for them to re-register, ahead of the April tenth vote.  Admittedly, they’ve all dragged their feet.

 

Edmund Staine

Edmund Staine, Belize City Resident

“You know, I was procrastinating all along.  I was always intending to come and do it and I was just pushing it back because of being busy and my schedule and all of that.  I am cognizant of the efforts that were made by the Elections and Boundaries Department of trying to reach out to people and the campaigns that were made to try to get people to re-register.  But unfortunately, I was caught in the late rush and now I am stuck trying to get registered.”

 

So too is popular radio disc jockey Alfrain Supaul.  He has been waiting in line for over an hour but doesn’t mind because it’s all for a worthy cause, securing a date with history.

 

Alfrain Supaul

Alfrain Supaul, Belize City Resident

“Well you know, typical Belizean mentality, sometimes we just want to save it for the last, you know.  I guess procrastinating.  But that’s about it; as long as I get in I’m good though.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How important is re-registering for you at this point?  I know there is the general elections at least a year and a half or so away, but before then is the I.C.J. referendum.  How important is getting in for this?”

 

Alfrain Supaul

“I want to be a part of history.  I think that for some of us we don’t see the importance of this dispute, so to speak, that we’re having with our borders.  I want to be a part of solving that problem.  I don’t want my daughter to grow up and have to be dealing with this in the future because a lot of people say, “Oh well, yoh go da di I.C.J. dehn seh left Belize lone or whatever the case may be that they still will harass us, you know.  I don’t think that that will be the case.  I think that if the international community tells them, “Yo, you need to leave Belize alone or we’re going to drop sanctions on you, then, you know, they’ll leave us alone.  That’s just my opinion.”

 

For Ian Gray, he has chosen to wait until today to be re-registered because of a relocation.

 

Ian Gray

Ian Gray, Belize City Resident

“Well I knew I was going to move and they told me, I came in July and they told me to wait until I moved to come and register, as opposed to re-registering [then] and coming back now to re-register in a different area.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How important is this process to you?  I know you’re joining the line at the last minute, but there is the issue of the referendum in a few weeks.  How important is this particular exercise for you?”

 

Ian Gray

“Well, it’s important.  We as Belizeans need to have our voices heard and this is the only way we can have our voices heard.”

 

Edmund Staine says he wouldn’t have it any other way.  He has made the personal sacrifice to brave the evening sun in order to get on the voters list ahead of referendum day.

 

Edmund Staine

“It’s a very important time for us as a country and as a patriotic Belizean, I believe that I would be forfeiting myself from a really, really good opportunity to make my stance known on such an important issue and with that in mind, I chose to come and get re-registered.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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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