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May 9, 2019

Commonwealth Observer Group: Referendum was “Credible, Transparent and Inclusive’

The Commonwealth Observer Group is winding down its visit to Belize. The group was formed by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland following an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to observe the referendum, which was originally scheduled for April tenth. The Observer Group is led by Hubert A. Ingraham, former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, who provided the media with an interim statement and initial assessment of the referendum process as the group observed it.  According to Ingraham, the May eighth I.C.J. referendum was credible, transparent and inclusive.


Hubert A. Ingraham

Hubert A. Ingraham, Former Prime Minister of Bahamas

“All of the polling stations we observed opened on time, with polling staff, voting materials, security and monitors present. The prescribed opening procedures were followed. The majority of polling staff visited were female. The set-up of polling stations was adequate and most were accessible to persons with disabilities. Information Centres which assisted voters to locate their polling stations and distribute Voters’ cards, were a positive innovation for which we commend the Election and Boundaries Department. Voting followed the prescribed procedures. Voters requiring assistance, or with disability, and the elderly were given preferential access at polling stations. The overwhelming majority of voters found their names on the Voters’ lists. The prescribed procedures with respect to the count and tabulation were followed. Monitors were present and witnessed the process, so were we. Our initial conclusions therefore are as follows, the Referendum held on eight May 2019 was credible, transparent and inclusive.”

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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