In December 2018, there was a Bill tabled by Area Representative for Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa, in an attempt to allow those living in the Diaspora to vote in the upcoming referendum. However, it didn’t go far and has left the Belizeans in the diaspora unable to vote in the referendum. The Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, told the media that he doesn’t see the practicality in allowing those living abroad to vote. Today, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno, disagreed with him.
Leader of the Opposition John Bricenio: “I think this is of such importance now and that it will have to determine the future of this country and I believe that it is something that merits a lot of discussions whether we should allow the Diaspora to participate in this Referendum and this Referendum alone. I do not agree with Minister Elrington because he is basically telling people to come and lie, to come and spend two months right here or just come and say you spent two months right here and then you go and register and then you can vote. On that we would not agree and then what would happen after that is that when election time comes the people that have the most money can have the tickets for those people to come and vote on an election. We do not subscribe to that, it is easier to discuss or to see if it is possible to then allow to have the Diaspora to register abroad and then for this referendum to give an opportunity to be able to to vote whether we would be able to vote to go to the ICJ or not but we need to think even beyond that because if we can get them to register it gives us an opportunity as a country, as Belizeans, as Government to access the Diaspora, to access that incredible talent that they have. The incredible experience that they have in different countries and the level of education that they have that they can help us in addressing some of the many challenges that we have as a growing nation.”
The referendum to decide whether to take Guatemala’s unfounded claim on Belize to the ICJ takes place on April 10.