Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019. 3:44 pm CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
Having listened to the views and concerns of Belizeans in all 31 constituencies and taking into consideration the informed position of the Standard Bearers of the People’s United Party along with the unanimous approval of the National Executive, the People’s United Party issues:
THE PEOPLE’S DECLARATION
The People’s United Party
RECALLS the Party’s proud history of defending the rights of the Belizean people to self-determination and successfully leading Belize to political independence with all our territory intact as defined by the 1859 Treaty
DEPLORES Guatemala’s refusal to accept the integrity of the long established Belizean borders and its insistence on maintaining its unfounded claim to Belizean territory
RESPECTS the sacred right of the Belizean people to decide whether or not we should submit the unfounded claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice for final adjudication
CONVINCED that the Belizean people as a matter of conscience should exercise their right to decide on this issue free from fear mongering and on the basis of informed consent, which can only be achieved after an open, balanced and comprehensive education campaign
STRONGLY CONDEMNS the mismanagement of Belize – Guatemala relations by the Barrow Administration and the continued incompetence of Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington especially in relation to activities along our borders, including the government’s failure to negotiate a protocol on the Sarstoon
HAVING DULY CONSIDERED all aspects of the education campaign, the state of unreadiness for the ICJ Referendum scheduled for the 10th April 2019 and the majority no position of party supporters
1. The decision whether or not to submit the Guatemalan Claim to Belizean territory for final adjudication is a national issue that should only be submitted to a
referendum after a balanced, fully resourced and comprehensive education campaign. 2. The current education campaign being conducted by the Government of Belize is disorganized, under-financed and not sufficiently balanced.
3. That the education campaign be re-designed, managed and implemented by a well-resourced, independent Referendum Commission.
a. the Referendum Act be amended to make the results of all referenda binding;
b. the Maritime Areas Act be amended to claim for Belize the full extent of rights under international law;
c. the Representation of the People Act be amended to allow Belizeans abroad to vote in the Belize – Guatemala ICJ referendum, and to guarantee the integrity of the voting and counting of ballots in an ICJ Referendum and
d. that the current legal opinion be revised and updated to include the latest information and developments on the territorial and maritime claim and that the updated opinion be widely circulated.
5. That the backlog at the Vital Statistics Office, which is being caused due to political interference and mismanagement, be cleared up so that Belizeans applying for their documents can receive them in a timely manner and that immediate action be taken to ensure equal access and treatment be given to all Belizeans
6. That all persons who have satisfied the requirements for registration as electors be allowed to vote in an ICJ Referendum.
7. The immediate removal of Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington as Foreign Minister.
RESOLVES 8. That in accordance with this People’s Declaration the People’s United Party recommends that Belizeans vote NO to the ICJ.
9. To remain vigilant and proactive in defending the national interest at this critical time in the history of our beloved Belize.
Declared at Independence Hall Wednesday, 23rd January 2019
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