PUP leader says referendum not likely this year

Yesterday we reported that a new Guatemalan ambassador, Georges de La Roche Du Ronzet, has taken up residence in Belize almost two years after his predecessor Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas was recalled. This latest diplomatic move by Guatemala appears to be in tandem with the fact that Guatemalans go to the polls on April 15th to vote on whether Guatemala should go to the ICJ to settle their territorial dispute with Belize.  According to Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon Wilfred Elrington,  Belize is expected to follow suit later this year or in early 2019. At Sunday’s National Party Convention in Belize City, the question of the Opposition’s position on the ICJ issue was presented to Leader of the Opposition Johnny Briceno by the media. Briceno says that while the party’s primary focus is on the march 7th elections, he does not foresee any referendum in Belize this year, and that Re registration needs to come first in Belize before any referendum can occur. Here is how that interview went.

Leader of the Opposition, Johnny Briceno

That is very important and it is certainly a issue that we would have to address. Right now, we have more important matters. Right now our sole concern right now and attention that we have and the work that were doing is to win the municipal elections. That is where we are putting all the attention. There must be a re-registration before they can call this further referendum but, I can assure you that there is going to be no referendum this year. The Prime Minister is bluffing, he doesn’t knows what the hell he’s talking about, but there is going to be no referendum. Well, when the time comes we are going to make a decision. Right now we are solely looking at and concentrating in winning the municipal elections on March the 7th. That is what is important for us and after that we have to show that there is a re-registration and that we got the people registered in the divisions where they live; not like what has been happening in the Queen Square and Mesopotamia and in Corozal, Belize Rural South and Cayo Central, Cayo West. These are the areas where we have the  most abuses [and] where we have people that are registered and do not live in those divisions.

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