General — 19 April 2016 — by Micah Goodin
Shoman shares and PUP prepares

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 14. 2016–Today, Thursday, the Opposition People’s United Party held an almost three-hour intense informational meeting chaired by Ambassador Assad Shoman at Independence Hall on Queen Street.

Invited parliamentarians and standard bearers engaged in a discussion that featured “an update on the Sarstoon, Belize-Guatemala [situation] generally and the role of the party in the process,” remarked former Foreign Minister and Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay.

Courtenay further emphasized that today’s informational meeting was simply to acquire, adequate information to make decisions, as it is the National Executive and the National Party Council that will set the policies for the People’s United Party.

“The party and the Party Leader have committed to educating the members of the National Executive, the parliamentarians, former standard bearers and also the wider Belizean society on all issues surrounding Belize-Guatemala,” added PUP Chairman, Henry Charles Usher.

With current bipartisan efforts to settle the Belize-Guatemala border dispute, there has been a growing public perspective that the People’s United Party has changed its position of “No to the ICJ,” and is now prepared to explore the possibility of having the International Court of Justice arbitrate this historic dispute.

Usher reiterated that, “the People’s United Party has always been committed to educating the Belizean people on this issue, in doing its best to resolve this issue in a peaceful matter and coexisting with our neighbor, Guatemala.”

He commended the Belize National Teachers’ Union for playing an active role in educating its members on the existing border dispute. The BNTU is scheduled to attend a forum on the Belize/Guatemala differendum in Benque Viejo this Friday, April 15.

On December 8, 2008, Belize and Guatemala signed and agreed to conduct simultaneous referenda to decide if the peoples of both nations want the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to arbitrate the ongoing border dispute. Guatemala withdrew its engagement in the simultaneous referenda that were scheduled for October 6, 2013.

The People’s United Party views the upcoming 2017 national voter re-registration exercise as being a critical precursor to any proposed referendum on the Belize-Guatemala matter.
Usher lastly commented that the PUP has been leading the request for a cleanup of the voter’s list and is prepared to fully engage in the process.

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