Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2018. 10:00 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize’s national re-registration process is scheduled to commence on July 1.
The last national re-registration exercise took place 21 years ago, in July 1997.
Belize’s constitution requires that a re-registration exercise be conducted every ten years, however, administrations for the past two decades have not honored the obligation.
The Belize Elections and Boundaries department is already preparing for the countrywide process, announcing vacancies for temporary registering officers and organizing registration stations in villages.
Beginning July 1, every registered elector will need to be registered again, anyone who has not yet registered can also be registered to vote.
The re-registration process is to register anew. Without being re-registered, Belizeans will be unable to vote in any election or referendum process.
All eligible persons are being encouraged to participate in this re-registration of electors exercise.
The re- registration process is crucial especially with the upcoming national referendum to be held in Belize, in which Belizeans will be asked if they agree to taking Guatemala’s long standing dispute on Belize’s insular, maritime and continental territory to the International Court of Justice.
Belize’s national referendum is scheduled for April of 2019.
If Belizeans vote ‘Yes’, the dispute for about half of Belize’s territory will be taken to the ICJ, and the decision will be final, so if either side is unhappy with the outcome, it cannot be appealed.
There has also been much concern about Guatemalan citizens being registered to vote in Belize and in the upcoming referendum as many Belizeans have pointed out that our constitution clearly states that any citizen of a country which does not recognize Belize’s territorial integrity or Independence can be a legal citizen of the country. The problem is compounded because Guatemala’s constitution makes provision that Guatemalans cannot renounce their citizenship and their children, even if not born in Guatemala, are still citizens of that country. Neither of the political parties, however, have addressed this aspect of the issue.
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