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Apr 18, 2019

A New Referendum Date is Set

A new date of May eighth, 2019 has been set for the I.C.J. referendum to be held.  It succeeds the signing into law of the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Act earlier this week, following the introduction and passage of that piece of legislation in the House of Representatives last Friday.  A writ of referendum dated April seventeenth, endorsed by Governor General Sir Colville Young, has been presented to the Returning Officer for the Mesopotamia Electoral Division.  On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in accordance with Section 4 of the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Act, formally made the request for a national vote to take place on that Wednesday.  The result of the referendum should be certified by May ninth.  Voters will be asked one question which reads as follows: Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties? News Five spoke with Opposition Leader John Briceño who shared a brief response to the notice.

 

On the Phone: John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Well obviously the prime minister is not listening to nobody, not listening to the Belizeans that have expressed a lot of concerns about the haste in having the referendum and also to the opposition that we’ve been saying that there is a number of issues that need to be addressed.  But obviously he is answering to somebody else or so it would seem, others whom we are unaware of, but the point is that we continue to ask, why the haste?  Why don’t we hit the pause button and let us have a discussion and see how we could best serve the country.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of any preparations from the opposition’s side now that another date has been set, what can we look forward to?”

 

On the Phone: John Briceño

“Well, we will certainly be meeting as an executive to make the decision what we’re going to do next because in the People’s Declaration we were addressing the concerns that we have and if the government refuses to address that then we would have to tell our supporters to vote no.  So we’re going to meet early next week and then make an official announcement.”


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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