PM to vote YES to ICJ Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

“I am completely convinced that going to the ICJ and voting Yes is the correct choice for our country,” stated Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow at a press conference on Wednesday May 16th. He made the announcement after saying that the date for the referendum has been set for April 10th, 2019 in consideration that there is a re-registration exercise that is slated to commence in July of this year. By that time it is expected that the list of electors would be ‘robust.’

While the Prime Minister will be voting Yes to take the Guatemalan dispute to the ICJ he said that it is a particularly emotional issue and opinions are divided on going to the ICJ. PM Barrow stated that if we don’t go what would be the option? He said he could not come up with any other answer. He said that he is convinced that our case is water tight and we would not suffer any setbacks or loss. He added that a decision in our favor would not necessarily put an end to all our issues but would confer a legal resolution to the dispute. It would be of value to be able to say to the Guatemalans with a decision from the ICJ that “these are our borders, that half of the Sarstoon is ours,” cited the PM.

With that the official position of Cabinet is that a ‘Yes’ vote should be recommended to the people of Belize. But the Prime Minister was clear that individually cabinet members can disagree and can go their own way on how to vote.

He added that an educational campaign with a first thranche of financing of 2.5 million dollars will get underway shortly. The campaign which will be headed by the Referendum Unit will not seek a Yes vote rather it will be a strictly educational campaign.