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Minister Says Referendum Should Not Be About Red or Blue

Minister  Says Referendum Should Not Be About Red or Blue
May 03
15:39 2019

Friday, May 3rd. 2019 –

By Marion Ali –
The ICJ Referendum is a mere five days away and the political parties are out trying to persuade voters to vote along the lines that their individual political parties have taken, touting the “what’s best for Belize” expression. But while that is the case, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber told the media today that the Referendum should not be about red or blue.

“Nobody should be taking this thing along party lines, although, to be honest you know that it has been drawn down that road,” Faber admitted. “People should feel free to come out and to participate in this freely without coersion. Also, we stress that it is the Government’s position that we support a “Yes” vote but it is not that the Government is saying you have to do that by hook or by crook. We believe that the case of Belize is very strong if we go to the ICJ. The experts tell us this as well – that we have a very good case, ad we want this matter resolved.”

Faber said the matter needs to end because Guatemala agresses Belize in more ways than just their military personnel who intimidate, restrict, and turn back our civilians from the Sarstoon.

“Guatemala, on a daily basis aggresses Belize, however small it is, whether it means them coming across to raid our forests or the whole incident of the Sarstoon Island where they prohobit and the try to intimidate us, fishing is another big issue, and these are the kinds of things that we can stop,” Faber said, provided we vote “Yes” and the ICJ rules in Belize’s favour. Faber made reference to the opinion of former ICJ President, Justice Stephen Schwebel, who advised that Belize can apply for support from the UN Security Council to stop these kinds of incursions.

This is the chance Belize has, he said, to put to rest all the doubt, speculation and aggression again Belize and Belizeans. But the PUP has a very different view, and it is urging Belizeans to vote “No” on issues of a more domestic nature, such as the disenfranchisement of some 1,200 Belizeans whose voter’s applications were not approved, and the Government’s “ineffective” education campaign, and the need for more time for people to learn about the pros and cons of the going to the ICJ.

PUP Leader, at his last press conference, had announced that he has instructed all his party’s 31 standard bearers to mobilize their campaign committees and to go out and “knock on every door” to deliver a “No” vote.

The determining factor of whether Belize goes to the ICJ or not will be dependent on Wednesday’s poll. All that is necessary to determine that is which of the votes garners the majority.

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