VIP Demands Reregistration 2017

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Updated: March 15, 2017

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has written to the unions and other agencies expressing his desire to postpone the reregistration exercise to 2018 on the grounds that the economy would not be able to sustain the millions of dollars required for the undertaking and that with intentions to revoke illegally obtained nationalities more time would be required.  It seems like a logical proposal but not according to the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP).  They sent out a release today saying that the Government of Belize is violating the Representation of the People’s Act.  They have described the Prime Minister as being flippant and are demanding that he complies with the law which requires that the reregistration process begins by July 2017.  As it relates to the plans of revoking nationalities, the VIP says that in a re-registration exercise, these individuals would most likely not seek to re-register, as they would come under greater scrutiny.  They added that the financial reasoning rendered by the Prime Minister is disingenuous.  The release noted, quote, “The VIP also takes issue with the bloated re-registration cost estimate of 20 million dollars.  A quick calculation will show this amounts to exceed a whopping $150 to register each voter.  We note that in re-registration, the bulk of the work would be done by public officers whose salaries are already budgeted.  Above all, if government cannot allocate the resources necessary to bring integrity to the voter’s list, then democracy in Belize is dead.  The VIP hereby sounds the alarm that for the purpose of a re-registration exercise, Belize’s Vital Statistics Unit is currently in such severe neglect by government, that it has become incapable of reliably supporting the foundation of citizen identification. This matter must be addressed immediately.  This neglect amounts to a human rights abuse by government and may yet emerge as an international scandal upon Belize.”  End of quote.