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PUP wants OAS Observer Mission to oversee re-registration process

The Opposition, People’s United Party, wants an OAS observer to oversee the re-registration process slated to begin in Belize on July 2. PUP Leader John Briceno wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, reminding him that Belize is a signatory to the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States and as a member country, Belize is responsible for organizing, conducting and ensuring free and fair electoral processes. Briceno points out to Barrow that the OAS may, with the consent of Belize, send special missions to oversee the electoral process. With this in mind, the PUP is calling on the Government to invite the OAS to send an observer mission to observe the re-registration process from July to November. According to Briceno, this will ensure the process is managed in the most transparent way possible.

John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “First of all the Elections and Boundaries Offices are operating without a board, none of the commissioners have been appointed. We have been calling the attention, we have written letters to the Prime Minister as to when these commissioners are going to be named, we are very concerned that we believe that the Elections and Boundaries Offices are being run by their political directorate because there’s no board. Our commissioners have not been sworn in as yet so that is of grave concern. We also have some grave concerns about some of the decisions that the Elections and Boundaries, the officers have made. For instance under the law during re-registration they need to go to every single village to make the process easier for Belizeans to get re-registered and we’ve been informed that they are not going to do that- that they’re only going to go to certain village and then everybody else has to come to their village and they are sitting budgetary concerns but I don’t think that we can ever spend too much money when it comes to protecting the democracy of Belize and the integrity of that voters list. The other concern that we have is that they’re saying that they will not do monthly revisions, that they are looking at probably doing the first revision in November and by then we are going to have thousands of names that we will have to be revisiting and we believe that it creates an opportunity for mischief.”

In 1997 the OAS sent an observer mission to observe the re-registration process.