While the appointed referendum monitors were in meeting with the Elections and Boundaries Department this afternoon at the Inspiration Centre in Belize City, the Belize Peace Movement stood outside with placards in protest. The Belize Peace Movement had demanded earlier this week that they be included in monitoring the referendum but their demands played no role and was overlooked. The exclusion made them issue an allegation that the Government is looking to fix the referendum
Bobby Lopez Belize Peace Movement: “This is an umbrella organization. The Belize Peace Movement made a statement and we pledge to each other that we would not bring up politics but the time has come where all our political members have out to the forefront and say you are not going to leave us out of this so that is what is happening here. We went there and we tried to get in and they said it is a private property and we have to leave but yet there is a public meeting taking place but that they rented it to the Elections and Boundaries. We do not intend to stay quiet now, we intend to get in the streets because Belizeans need to know that everything is being done to make sure they have a yes on April 10th. April 10th is not an election it is a people’s referendum. We want to know where the ballots are going to be “printed, will be it be here, Guatemala or somewhere else. Transparent as possible to where it is being printed to when it leaves to go to the vault at the Central Bank.”
Josephine Tamai, the Chief Elections Officer of Elections & Boundaries, said that the Belize Peace Movement was excluded because only a limited amount of organizations can monitor the referendum exercise.
Josephine Tamai Chief Elections Officer Elections and Boundaries: “Nothing prohibits these persons from going with one of the other organizations. If the organizations want is telling me six different monitors within those polling station then we also have to ensure that monitors do not get as close as possible to where persons are casting their vote because casting their vote must be secret but those are the things we have in place. Like I said nothing prevents these persons from falling under any of the other umbrella. It is nothing something that Elections and Boundaries can say that they are entitled to do but they can liaise with these organizations. Yes the Belize Peace Movement is one, we have several others that can request the same thing.”
The referendum exercise which takes place on April 10, is guided by the Referendum Act of Belize./////////