GOB clarifies Minister Elrington’s Comments on Guatemalan Referendum

Yesterday we told you about the PUP press release demanding that Minister Wilfred Elrington clarify his statements made in interview with Channel 5, where Elrington said that Guatemala would have to go to referendum to adopt any decision made by the ICJ. The PUP said that Elrington is contradicting himself and needs to correct his erroneous statement since in previous interviews, Elrington had said that  Article 5 of the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala states that both countries shall accept the court’s decision as final and binding. Today, that clarification came via a Government issued press release. That release says that the journalist asked a question regarding the efforts of a few Guatemalan citizens who were challenging the constitutionality of Guatemala’s referendum. It continues, and we quote,  “The clips used in Channel 5’s report gave the mistaken impression that Minister Elrington was stating that it is his or Ambassador H.E. Alexis Rosado’s own view that after the International Court of Justice rules on a decision the “constitution of Guatemala provides for them [Guatemala] to then go to a referendum to, as it were, ratify that position of the court”.  What the Minister was explaining to the journalist was his understanding of the basis of the constitutional challenge in Guatemala; not his personal views or that of Ambassador Rosado. In any case, such legal challenges have been dismissed in Guatemala’s Courts.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further clarified that in accordance with the Special Agreement of December 2008, should the electorates of Belize and Guatemala approve the submission of Guatemala’s claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice for a final settlement, there can be no question of another referendum on the Court’s ruling

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