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Apr 9, 2019

PM Barrow Dismisses Idea of a Mutual Decision to Delay I.C.J. Referendum

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister also told News Five that he had received correspondence from Opposition Leader John Briceño.  Briceño is requesting that the PM calls off a meeting of the House of Representatives scheduled for this Friday.  The PM scoffed at the suggestion that government should now meet with the opposition to discuss a delay, since new legislation will be passed in the House on Friday, which he says will be fail-safe.

 

Isani Cayetano

“In respect of the amendments to the law that you’re speaking of on Friday that will take place, what can we expect in terms of how that vote will be, considering the fact that you have the majority in the House?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well we are absolutely certain that it will pass in the House.  The Senate is a different matter because of the composition there.  What we’re also certain of is that the People’s United Party is going to oppose what we do.  I gather the Leader of the Opposition denied what Michael Peyrefitte reported him as having said.  I believe Michael implicitly because what he reported the leader of having said is all of a piece with what we’ve been saying.  They are determined to delay the referendum and in some quarters of their party they are determined to deny the referendum.  I just had a letter from him today asking me not to go to the House on Friday.  Man, after you do all that you have done to stop this thing because you realize now, well we are going to fix it in a way that you might challenge again, but you are certainly not going to succeed, you say to me, “Well, let’s sit down and talk and agree on a delay.”  You never asked, anyway…  The thing is that in terms of their position which I have understood to be that no matter what, you can only have a referendum on the I.C.J. if you change the constitution.  That is surely out of leftfield but they’ve said it.  They’ve put it in their arguments before the Chief Justice which he dismissed.  They’ve put it, I believe, in the joint opinion of Musa and Anthony Sylvester and Dickie Bradley and we’ve heard them say it, they want a constitutional change because they say if you go to the I.C.J. there is a possibility that the I.C.J. might give a little bit of sea to Guatemala and anything like that would mean that our constitution which sets out the boundaries of land and sea would in fact be violated and so from now to prepare for that possibility, however remote, we need to change your constitution.”


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