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The Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham gives personal observations during the Referendum

The Commonwealth countries, including Bellize, are supported by an active network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organizations.  The Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham, also gave feedback on his observations at the polling stations he observed.

Rt. Hon. Hubert A Ingraham – Chairman, Commonwealth Observer Group:From what we observed at the polling stations there were large numbers of persons who did not have their cards who had registered, whose cards were in place at the centers, who were issued their cards, who signed for them, who directed which polling stations to go too and or in some cases which constituency. We did not observe persons with cards whose names did not appear on the register, we did not experience that but now that you mention it to us we will make inquiries. I can tell you what I observed, I was at the polling station. Many of the no’s that I observed filled the entire box with their x and that was very distinguishable as compared to the yes. I thought that the marking out of the hundred yards etc. went very well etc. There was one lady that I personally saw, somebody told me that she had voted and she was outside of the poll telling people to go in and vote no. I made it my business, it is not my job as an observer. I made it my business to walk up to her and speak to her and I told her, I said you know it is really not my business but I am here as an observer and I don’t know whether you would like for me to have to note in my report that you are here doing this. I suggest that you won’t do this and she agreed to desist and walked away, whether she came back or not I don’t know but we got no other reports generally speaking about things like that. What impressed me more than anything else yesterday, me personally was the acceptance by Belizeans of the integrity, the professionalism of their polling presiding officers, workers etc. and that they accepted it and agreed that listen and say we are satisfied that once we go in their mark out x’s etc. it will be counted, it will be accounted for, etc. and it is a level that quite frankly I have never experienced anywhere before of acceptance of a population of its democracy and electoral process and I wish to personally commend you for that.”

A final report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary General to be publicized.