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Mar 2, 2012

People’s Referendum an awakening of Belizean electorate

On Wednesday close to thirty thousand electors across Belize voted in the People’s Referendum. It was a resounding success for an event organized in a short period driven by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage.  Of the total votes cast, ninety six percent voted against offshore oil drilling, while a mere four percent said yes. Coordinator, Francis Gegg says that this exercise was a Herculean effort organized and executed successfully by a network of Belizeans. Aside from the unequivocal message against offshore oil drilling, Gegg says the mock referendum represents an awakening of the Belizean electorate.

Francis Gegg, Coordinator, People’s Referendum

“This was a peaceful protest and I would like to start by saying a few words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has” I was the coordinator of this project. Audrey Matura asked me two weeks before it actually happened, to come in and help her do it. We had to ask people from all over this country to drop what they were doing, get involved and build a team, an organizational network and structure it and people it and then train. We had nine categories of the different things that we have to get done including marketing, logistics, budget and finance, coordination. I mean it was nine categories. Without the help of many, many people, but in particular, I need to mention those who really helped to make this happen and I need to mention Arturo Lizarraga because he stepped in essentially as my side help to help plan and execute; and thereafter, Mike Godoy came in as a logistics coordinator and then Yasmine Andrews stepped in as my personal assistant to help to man the internet, the yahoo mail and bringing the message and send them out. And we had to drive the message through creating effective media coverage.”

Andrea Polanco

Francis Gegg

“Right and not to mention the overwhelming support and response that you all got from the people as well?”

Francis Gegg

“Well of course, this to me was the greatest thing because in most of our Belizean elections, there are so many things that drive the vote and this was entirely people stepping forward, there was no money involved, very little money involved and we weren’t out there buying votes as you are accustom to hearing in current elections. The people clearly wanted to be given a chance to speak on this issue.”

Andrea Polanco

“Mr. Gegg, putting this in context, the resounding response from the Belizean public, what does this say about the electorate?”

Francis Gegg

“Well, I think, I describe it as an awakening. You know 2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar and with end you have death but you also have beginning. To me this is a new awakening where I believe the Belizean electorate is awakening; the consciousness is awakening to the fact that they are going to stand forward and let their voices be heard especially on  such important issues such as the Barrier Reef and offshore drilling, issues that affect their lives.”

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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5 Responses for “People’s Referendum an awakening of Belizean electorate”

  1. peter says:

    It’s sad that the Belizean people are forced into a kneejerk reaction by an American environmental extremist group through their handsomely paid surrogates in Belize. To be fair if one s tells people to come out and vote no what do you expect will be the result??? It is clear that any government that wins will have to address the issue but to say that the Belizean people are against something when they have only been exposes(through scare tactics) to one side of an issue is disingenuous. GOB must hold consultations on and allow both sides to articulate their point and then let the people decide. As to election what’s the point of polling at an event with political overtones if she is a statisticians then she should know that this was not a accurate sample draw a conclusion.

  2. Retired CEO says:

    March 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    It is mind boggling for me. I just don’t understand how, and what was the process used to reject so many voters from the list that was originally collected for the referendum, with this many voters turning out for a mock election. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I just don’t get it. It appears to me that, there ought to be some sort of commision set up to investigate exactly what happened with those signatures that were rejected by the election board. Someone needs to answer for this miscarriage of justice to the voters of the jewel. Or perhaps, the voters need to do something about this when they show up at the polls Mar. 7th. They ought to vote en masse for change, getting rid of this arrogant PM and his bunch of buffoons that was in the cabinet. Furthermore, the person at the election board who dismissed/removed those voter’s signatures, declaring them invalid needs to be fired, likewise, perhaps it is time for us to select a new Governer General. The current one is almost as useless, as the PM. Lastly, I do not know who Ms. Matura is, or what is her motives, but what we do know for sure, is that, she did an excellent job, despite the opposition of the GOB and it’s useless arrogant PM. My beloved and respected fellow Belizeans rise up, wake up and rid yourselves of this arrogant PM and the udp buffoons. VOTE PUP ALL THE WAY ON MARCH 7TH.

  3. JahKid says:

    My Belizean people, I love the reponse. PUP, UDP, VIP, PNP and Independents came to vote. At Belmopan when I went to vote I saw people from all the above political parties. Mr Barrow you are a great leader, if Audrey had irritated you by her aggressive and at times boastful and disrespectful way, We just want you to hear from us all. Disregard Audrey and look at the masses. We want Belize to remain beautiful and green. Respect.

  4. For-da-people says:

    As Belizeans we need to get out of the mindset of being loyal to a specific colour whether it be red (UDP) or blue (PUP). And, we need to come into a new way of thinking where we see each other as Belizeans that we are an not only subjected to a political party. Moreover, we must be associated with being a collective people, that understands politics, history, and the same old political roller coaster the Belizean people have been on for the past three decades now. Still, we have no change. Approximately 60% of the Belize’s people is living in poverty, and the gap betwwen rich and poor in Belize in increasing at an alarming rate. I have one questions to my follow Belizeans. Do you know what you are voitng for this election? Listen, you are voting for streets to be pave, a parcel of land, school supplies for your kids, or other trivial things the average politician uses to brainwash belizean electorate with. You are voting for your inalienable rights, protection of belize’s natural resources, and your god given right freedom. We must wake up, raise up, and focus on people and not politicians, put people in office that can relate to you economically, finacially, and spiritually on all levels.

  5. subKonshus says:

    Even in the height of its political campaigning the UDP continues to be hypocritical in trying to mislead Belizeans just for the moment of winning their votes. There is an article on Channel 7 titled “Barrow says yes to referendum” Did he not have the chance to include it in this years elections? Now because he realizes that its political suicide to go ahead with offshore drilling, he is trying at the last moment to back pedal on the Belize people. Don’t worry Mr. Barrow, the moment your lips start moving, that’s the precise moment Belizeans stop listening to you. The article written in the UDP’s propaganda mouthpeice really tells how you and your party feels about the referendum.

    The elections are basically over Mr. Barrow….don’t bother wait up for the results….catch the next flight out to Miami….trust me, you won’t be missed!!!!

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