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Apr 9, 2019

New Legislation to be Passed, but No New Referendum Date as Yet

Dean Barrow

With all the new developments in the referendum debacle and a legal prescription to fix what’s wrong with the existing act, a new date for Belizeans to go to the polls remains to be set.  Prime Minister Barrow, this evening, flatly dismissed the notion that the Constitution of Belize be amended in order to hold a referendum, a point which he says was also dismissed by the Chief Justice. If this is so, it means government does not need a two-thirds majority in the House.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is, again I have to use the word, a bizarre argument and we think it is just another stalling tactic, just another delay.  If they had said, “You know what, you have the referendum and there is a yes vote and you submit to the I.C.J., maybe you might want to start to think about possibilities that at some point down the road the constitution might have to be changed.”  We don’t see how it would ever happen, but my point is that have might slightly been a more reasonable argument to say before you can have even a referendum to determine whether you go to the I.C.J., the referendum might produce a no vote.  You must change the constitution?  It all falls under or into the category of the bag of implements, of tools, of tactics that the opposition is employing to delay and ultimately deny the vote.  We won’t have it, we are absolutely positive we are going to be able to produce in double quick time, by Monday when the Senate meets and by Tuesday when the Governor General signs his assent, we are absolutely certain that we are going to be able to provide for the holding of the referendum sooner rather than later and much sooner rather than later.”


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