BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 9, 2017–In a statement released on Tuesday, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) revealed that it has, “closely followed the publicized process of the Senate Select Committee Hearings into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department, 2011-2013.”
“Through this medium, we wish to place on record our tremendous concern regarding the matter of voter registration as a result of what can only be described as wanton distribution of questionable/illegal Belizean Nationality Certificates,” the statement continued.
The statement went on to mention that, “The imbedded ‘culture’ of the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department has for far too long, allowed thousands of unqualified individuals to hold Belizean Nationality. Those unqualified persons were then subsequently allowed participating on what should have been free and fair elections.”
As a result the BNTU is calling on the Government of Belize to immediately address the clean-up of the voter registration list through a re-registration process as required by the law.
The BNTU has asked that all other unions, civil society organizations and the general public join them in sounding this call.
Today, Thursday, we received a leaked document from the Elections and Boundaries Commission which reveals that contrary to the BNTU’s request, re-registration will not be held until the period between July 1 and August 31, 2018.
However, re-districting is scheduled to be completed by October of this year.
The leaked document also revealed that the next general elections will not be held until 2020, and not at an earlier date, as was the case in 2012 and again in 2015.
Since 1997, which was 20 years ago, Belize has conducted no voter re-registration exercise.