25 C
Belize City
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Principals gather for 2-day conference

Photo: Principals visiting Lamanai by Kristen Ku BELIZE CITY,...

Sista B absent

Photo: Denise “Sista B” Barrow BELIZE CITY, Mon....

Ship on the reef

by Charles Gladden BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 27,...

PUP leader John Briceño winds down ICJ referendum listening tour

GeneralPUP leader John Briceño winds down ICJ referendum listening tour

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019– With only a short time remaining before the April 10 national referendum in which Belizeans will indicate, by a yes or no vote, whether they think the Guatemalan claim should be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) , the Opposition (People’s United Party) leader, Hon. John Briceño is wrapping up his listening tour.

Last week, the PUP issued a press release ahead of the Barrow government meeting with four former PUP Foreign Ministers, who signed a declaration in support of going to the ICJ. The PUP in their release were categorical in saying that the four former foreign ministers did not speak for the party.

The release also put forward the PUP’s most likely position. In the words of party leader Briceño: “I am sufficiently convinced that an overwhelming majority of our Party members and supporters are going to say NO and as the leader of a mass party, that makes decisions in a democratic way, I have an obligation to accept the views of the majority. I am certain that in the final analysis our Party will say NO to the ICJ.”

On Monday, Hon. Briceño was asked for his take on the signing of the declaration by the four former PUP foreign ministers — Hon. Said Musa, Dr. Assad Shoman, Lisa Shoman and Godfrey Smith, who, by co-signing the declaration with Prime Minister Barrow, bolstered the government’s faltering ICJ education campaign.

“I think what is more important is to point out, and they quickly mentioned it, that they are not speaking on behalf of the People’s United Party. They’re speaking as private citizens and former foreign ministers, and it is their right to do so. And that has been clearly articulated over and over. They were there as private citizens, and not as the party. The party speaks with one voice, and the press release that we sent out last week was just a preview as to what is going to come. I expect to wrap up the listening tour next week,” he replied.

He went on to state,  “Next week I will meet—we’re almost at 31 standard bearers—we’re going to meet with them, and then we go to the national executive for a declaration. And then after that, we will have a National Party Council.”

Hon. Briceño was asked if he agreed with the characterization of PUP senator Eamon Courtenay that the former foreign ministers were engaged in a publicity stunt.

“Well, we know that it was a publicity stunt,” Hon. Briceño replied.

Referring to the four former foreign ministers, the PUP leader said, “That is their decision. They decided to do so, and I have no quarrel with them over that.”

He further said, “I have been all across this country. This week, I am going to finish the Orange Walk District. Today, I am going to be in Cayo South and Belmopan, and on Friday I am going to be in San Pedro, and that then will wrap up the entire listening tour that I’ve been on.

“And so far, wherever I go, I think that people have been expressing great concerns about the referendum. And there are different varying degrees of no. Some are saying outright no, we don’t believe we should be going to ICJ, but a lot more people are saying, we don’t have enough information. We don’t think we’re ready to hold a referendum, and because of that they believe that the government should change.

“And if they don’t change the date, they believe that they should vote no on the 10th of April.”

Check out our other content

Principals gather for 2-day conference

Sista B absent

Ship on the reef

Drunk cop accused of stealing money

Ship on the reef

Body found in western Belize

Jared Ranguy goes to trial

22 illegal Brazilians busted up North

Unidentified man killed in Toledo RTA

Check out other tags: