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Apr 15, 2019

Valerie Woods Abstains from Voting on New Referendum Bill in Senate

Valerie Woods

Back to the debate in the Senate. Last Friday, the former PM Said Musa voted to abstain in the House on the same referendum bill. That position happened again in the Senate when P.U.P. Senator Valerie Woods abstained on the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Bill, as the only opposition parliamentarian to do so in the Upper House.  Her reason for abstention has to do with her personal conviction that the I.C.J. is the only solution to end the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, against the position that has been taken by the People’s United Party.


Valerie Woods, P.U.P. Senator

“I have always tried Mr. President, and colleagues in this chamber, I have always tried to follow the dictates of my conscience and on this bill it will be no different.  It will be no different because I remind myself of the oath I took to bear true faith and allegiance to Belize.  In discharging my duty as a senator on a vote of such an overarching national issue, my decision cannot be influenced for selfish reasons, it cannot be a selfish one influenced by that notion of self-preservation.  The interest of Belize is paramount.  It should be for all of us.  So given the approach I take, I have to always finely balance Mr. President, it has to be finely balanced with respect to the party that appointed me and that has afforded me the position to serve country with the dictates of principle and my conscience.  Balancing those interests of country, party and guided by my conscience, I am compelled to abstain from today’s voting.”

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