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Sep 25, 2023

Legislative Amendment to Include Referendum for Offshore Drilling

Prime Minister Briceño was also asked about the hold up with the twenty-two thousand signed petitions that Oceana delivered to the Governor General back in June. The petition is to trigger a referendum before the moratorium on offshore drilling is ever lifted.  By law, those signatures should have already been reviewed and either verified or denied. When asked if his government is willfully ignoring the petitions, he responded by saying they have decided on a different course of action. 


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“I don’t think it is a matter of willfully ignoring it. We felt that since we already have the People’s Constitution Commission ongoing right now that would be the best place to be able to address it, through the PCC since they were asking even for the amendment of the constitution. We felt it would have been best to do that. But what we have done as a compromise for them. We are working on and amendment as what we did with the marijuana issue that whenever should the day come they want to do any kind of exploration in the sea or the ocean that then we will have a referendum. I have not seen the wording but pretty much that is what the attorney general briefly shared with me and the next cabinet he will bring the actual proposal and wording.”


“The law says within ex number of days a referendum is triggered if the signatures are certified. You all are playing with the law, it would appear.”


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Absolutely not, it just so happened that at this moment we have appointed by law, voted in the National Assembly, the people’s constitution commission. So, we felt why go through that, spend millions in a referendum when the commission is going around country wide getting recommendations from the different group of people, communities. I think that at least another six months they can come up with a bunch of recommendations to me as the prime Minister to the way going forward. I think it was the opportune time. It is just a matter of timing and this happened the same time. I think if the PCC was not in effect at that moment then the law is the law we would have to go ahead with the referendum.”

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