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OAS Mission Arrives to Belize for Upcoming Elections

Some weeks ago the People’s United Party had requested that the Organization of American States be an observer in the upcoming elections for November 4.  The process to have that in place began and it was agreed to by all parties.  Since Tuesday, the Organization of American States has begun deploying its personnel to Belize.  This observation team is being led by Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin, who serves as the Chief of Staff to the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro.  The team has thirteen observers coming in from eleven countries, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, El Salvador, France, Mexico, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.  As for the role of the observer mission, they will be looking keenly at the electoral process and will gather information to see whether the recommendations they submitted in 2012 have seen any changes.  The team will be meeting with officials from Elections and Boundaries as well as representatives of the political parties, government officials, members of the media, civil society organizations, among other stakeholders, to discuss perspectives on the electoral process. Subsequent to training the team will break up in groups and there will be the presence of the OAS in the six districts.  Their observations will be done via visits to the polling stations across the country as well as the counting stations.  The 2015 General Elections marks the second time that the OAS has sent an observatory mission to Belize.  On November 5, a press conference will take place in which their preliminary report will be presented.