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May 6, 2019

PM Barrow says U.D.P. Ready for Referendum Day

Dean Barrow

Turning to an issue that has been in the headline for months…In just two days, the nation will make a very important and historic decision on whether or not submit the Belize/Guatemala dispute to the I.C.J. for final resolution. What should have been a national issue has been transformed into a partisan political matter with major political parties at opposing ends of the question. The P.U.P. has kicked off countrywide rallies, with the goal to convince their supporters to vote NO on May eighth. The United Democratic Party has its political machinery mobilizing its masses with the attempt to achieve a YES vote. In an impromptu press briefing this morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, told the media that the U.D.P. is treating referendum day as a general election, to an extent.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I am sure that there was more that could have been done but there will always be more that could have been done. I am satisfied that in fact there is enough of an information basis to allow people to be able to come to the right decision.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of the preparedness, both parties talk about mobilization. What will look like for the U.D.P.? Will it be treated as a general election?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“To an extent yes. It is a pity that it has had to come down to this. This whole business started as a national effort, a national decision to negotiate the Special Agreement and agree on a referendum to determine whether to go to the I.C.J. but clearly, things have been become embroiled in the partisan mix. I suppose to some extent, even if they hadn’t and we were all going in one direction to get out people to vote on referendum day would still have required mobilization on the part of political parties. There is just no other entity set up to do that. So nothing at all unusual. The activities of both parties on that day should help us to have a respectable turnout. The only regret is as I say that it isn’t that both parties are trying to bring out their people to vote in the same way. For me that way could only properly been yes.”

 

Reporter

“Last month we saw the Guatemalan President walk into a classroom in one of the villages there, teaching the children that it is wrong how they draw the map, you should include Belize. As a government, how do you see this? This upsets a lot of Belizeans and what is your message to us?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We need to put an end to these mind games that people as high up as the president are playing with us. We need to put an end to this claim and that is why we need to go to the I.C.J.”


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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