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Countdown to the general elections begins as nominations slated for tomorrow

Nomination Day 2020 is slated for tomorrow for all persons wishing to contest the upcoming general elections.  It marks three weeks to the general election where Belize will elect 31 parliamentarians for a five year term in the House of Representatives.  This year, however, will be a low key event without motorcades, flatbed trucks, sound systems and seas of blue and red.  Some three weeks ago the Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai spoke to our newsroom on what is to be expected come Nomination Day tomorrow.

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer: “Outside of the polling station that is where the police will be the ones who will monitor what happens outside of the polling station. We know right now that people cannot congregate in more than ten, I can’t say at this point what will be the numbers if there will be any change at that time but whatever is in place at that time that is what the commission has agreed that will be maintained and the police will be there to ensure that whatever laws are in place that those laws are strictly adhered to. Based on the discussions that have been happening with commission whatever rules and regulations are in place at that time in terms of number of persons who can gather and what they can and cannot do those rules will apply for nomination day. I will tell you that one of the things that we’re looking for example I’ll use the Charles Barltet Hyde building as an example where we would normally have nomination for Belize City and you know it’s several different constituencies what we’re doing this time around we’re identifying locations in the different constituencies so that nomination is spread across to avoid having so many persons in one location at any one time and it’s something similar that we’re doing in the other municipalities and the other areas as well in all constituencies to spread across. In regards to the media and one of the things that we are certain that we’ll need to ask is for the media houses to get together and decide who could cover what because definitely depending on the number we will not be able to have so many persons in the nomination centers because again the social distancing persons will have to be sanitized and I will emphasize that sanitation will be done at nomination centers throughout the day and also at the polling stations throughout the day as well.”

Reporter: Okay so that’s for nomination what about election day?

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer: “Election day it will be something similar. Well you know the media is not allowed within the hundred yards line that will still maintain. Actually even though we have the hundred yards line whenever we meet with the political parties we have to ensure that we don’t have persons even crowding up at a gate and again depending on the number of persons that are allowed to be out at that particular time it is something that we will have to ask persons to please ensure that they adhere to the rules and regulations because we want to ensure that we have a free, fair, credible and safe elections.”

In previous years the ten divisions in Belize City used the Charles Bartlett Hyde building to get nominated. The venues were centrally located in all districts and the political fanfare and fanatics would be in full swing. Nominations begin at ten o’clock in the morning and runs up until four in the evening.  Love News will have highlights on our Facebook Page, Love FM and Love Television throughout the course of the day.  Nominations for the Fort George Division will take place at Holy Redeemer School; Pickstock at St. Luke’s Methodist School; Caribbean Shores at Edward P. Yorke High School;

Freetown at All Saints Primary School; Albert at Anglican Cathedral College; ,

Port Loyola at Muslim Community Primary School; Mesopotamia at

Grace Primary School; Collet at Gwen Lizarraga High School; Lake Independence at St. Martin de Porres RC School; Queen’s Square at

St. John’s Anglican Primary; Belize Rural North at Pancotto Primary School;

Belize Rural South at San Pedro Town Council Office; Belize Rural Central at

Our Lady of the Way RC School, Ladyville; Corozal North at Corozal Community College; Corozal Southeast at San Joaquin RC School; Corozal Bay at Corozal Civic Center; Corozal Southwest at Libertad Methodist School; Orange Walk North at the Magistrate’s Court; Orange Walk East at the District Education Center; Orange Walk South at the Banquitas House of Culture;  Orange Walk Central  at La Inmaculada RC School Auditorium; Cayo North at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court; Cayo Northeast at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium; Cayo West at the Benque Viejo Town Board; Cayo Central at the Santa Elena RC Primary School; Cayo South at Our Lady of Fatima RC School, Roaring Creek Village;  Belmopan at the Civic Center; Dangriga, Hope Creek & Sarawee at the Dangriga Town Council; Stann Creek West at the ITVET Building, Hope Creek; Toledo West at the Julian Cho Technical High School and Toledo East at the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court.  The process on nomination day calls for every nomination paper to be signed by six registered voters.  Each candidate is required to pay two hundred dollars as an nomination fee.