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Belize Peace Movement voices concerns over new Referendum Bill

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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019. 4:28 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Peace Movement (BPM) raised a number of concerns today about the recently approved Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Bill 2019, geared towards facilitating a referendum to take the Guatemalan claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The BPM noted several issues such as the haste in which the government of Belize (GOB) is pushing through the Bill, the fundamental problems with the education campaign and the numerous, valid concerns about the bill highlighted in the Senate debate. The most serious of the BPM’s concerns are the constitutionality of the new Bill.

“The Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Act seeks to circumvent the provisions of the Belize Constitution, by empowering the ICJ to determine the boundaries of Belize, though Belize’s boundaries are already established and can only be changed by a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 majority vote in the House of Representatives,” the BPM said.

The organization also noted that it has been established that a nonbinding referendum cannot supersede the Constitution of Belize, and has pledged to continue monitoring the developments with the Bill. 

 

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