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Foreign Affairs Minister denies ICJ ‘referendum bias’

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Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019. 2:18 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, officially denied any suggestion of ‘bias’ on the part of the Referendum Unit, charged with educating the public ahead of the April 10th referendum.

 The Minister challenged his opponents to find any presentation or item produced by the Unit that advocates a ‘yes’ vote, insisting that there was none. The Unit has been accused of appropriating the image of national hero, George Price, and his commentary on the issue when alive, among other individuals portrayed on billboards nationwide.

The Pickstock representative stated carefully that his opinion, an ‘unqualified’ ‘yes’, is separate from the officially neutral position of the Unit. He described it as ‘an existential question’ for the state of Belize – in fact, ‘a life and death matter.’

 Elrington observed that the P.U.P. is obviously divided on the matter, with Opposition Leader John Briceño switching from ‘yes’ to ‘no’; father and son parliamentarians Said and Kareem Musa on opposite sides, and other prominent PUP’s lined up on one side or the other. He pointed out that it may be a matter of age and experience versus simply ‘hustling to get a job.’

  Elrington was skeptical of the proposal raised yesterday by Lake Independence representative, Cordel Hyde, to put former BDF soldiers, police officers and farmers to ‘defend’ the border and also plant crops to help the economy.

The Government is being supported by Assad Shoman’s NGO, Citizens for the Defense of Sovereignty, formed from nothing a few months ago and currently the subject of questions about how it is funded and by whom.

 

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