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Jul 22, 2022

Referendum Ballot Will Only Focus on Cannabis Issue

The price tag for the referendum is in the millions and so there was a suggestion being made that the referendum ballot should be used to simultaneously poll voters on whether or not Belize should remain part of the monarch.  Minister Henry Charles Usher told News Five that the Referendum Act does not provide for this question to be included in the upcoming referendum. While the act does not specify, Minister Usher believes that if any other question is to be included, it must be in reference to the cannabis legislation.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Constitutional & Political Reform

“There are three ways in which a referendum can happen, according to our legislation. The first is that it can be within a particular law or in the case of Belize/Guatemala; it can be in the constitution itself. So if a law requires a referendum, then government is mandated to hold a referendum. Secondly, the House of Representatives can pass a resolution to hold a referendum. That was done in the case of the elected senate back in 2008; unfortunately, the former prime minister totally ignored the results of that referendum that was held during the same day of elections in 2008. And then the third way in which a referendum can be held is by the petition method where ten person of the total number of electors would have to sign a petition requesting a referendum on a particular issue. So the question as to whether you can add additional issues to that referendum ballot is no. It would have to be around this particular issue. Now it is silent as to whether there can be more than one question on the issue, but the ballot itself has to be contained to that issue.”


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