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Oct 14, 2020

Policing Protocol for Nomination Day

Both major political parties and the two smaller parties are fully engaged in campaign activities to get the voters to the polls. Nomination Day is exactly one week from today on October twenty-first, and on November eleventh, voters will decide who will occupy the seat of government.  It is a well-established practice that supporters gather in huge numbers as the standard bearers and area reps parade to the nomination centres in the respective municipalities along with their required signatories to secure their names on the ballot. The show of muscle on Nomination Day is a sign of support so that the larger and noisier the crowd is, the more muscle the party shows.  But this year, because of the pandemic that won’t happen and parades are being banned.  Candidates will be accompanied by a limited number of persons and masks will be provided by the Elections and Boundaries personnel to all candidates and their teams. Police officers will be placed at all nomination centres. Operations Commander, ACP Marco Vidal breaks down what that day will look like. 

 

Marco Vidal

ACP Marco Vidal, Commander of Operations, Belize Police Department

“We will be opened from ten a.m. to four p.m. Of course the P.U.P. will be the first to go in from ten to twelve and then the independent candidates and all the other parties will go in between twelve and two and thereafter the U.D.P. will come in at two until four. One of the issues is that there will be only six persons going into the nomination centre. The returning officer will determine if all six persons go inside to nominate that candidate or they will be allowed to enter by group of threes. And those candidates who may have COVID-19, will be nominated via video conference. Prior to nomination date, nomination forms will be submitted for candidates to sign.  If any of the nominating candidates are COVID-19 positive, they will be replaced. Nomination centres will be sanitized after each group leaves the nomination centre. Sanitization will take place at every nomination centre and also no gathering will be allowed outside a nomination centre. No parades will be allowed to take candidates to be nominated and media will be allowed at the discretion of election and boundaries.”


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