Political Parties in Belize Scramble to Ensure Voters on List

Political parties in Belize were making last-ditch efforts on Monday to ensure that voters were able to get on the official list for the general election, amidst widespread speculation that Prime Minister Dean Barrow would be announcing November 4 as the date for the election.

While he has given an indication that the election will be held in November, Prime Minister Barrow has said that he is not contemplating a postponement due to the coronavirus (COVID019) pandemic that has killed 13 people and infected 1,007 others in the country.

“I am sure that the Elections and Boundaries Office, together with the commission, will in fact be putting out the protocols that will have to apply to govern the elections process. What I can tell you is that there is absolutely no thought of seeking to postpone those elections and so we know that the obligation rather is to ensure that we can have as safe an elections process as possible,” Barrow told reporters over the last weekend.

On Monday, the two major political parties – the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s United Party (PUP) – were making a last big push to get voters on the list for the general elections.

While registration continues, Monday marked the end of the transfer period.

Prime Minister Barrow’s son, Shyne Barrow, considered to be the standard bearer for the Mesopotamia constituency, has inadvertently indicated that the elections could be held on November 4.

The last general election in 2015 was held on November 4 and video surfaced over the weekend in which the younger Barrow was discussing political support from a US-based entertainer for the November 4 poll.

One UDP candidate, Orson ‘OJ’ Elrington, says he believes that only Prime Minister Barrow knows the exact date for the election.

“I think the Prime Minister publicly has said that I think he would like it to be sometime in November, so far that I know there is no specific date which has been set as yes.

“In fact I am sure there is no specific date that has been set as yet because as you know and maybe the country knows it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide when or when not he sets the elections date. I think he said more than likely it will be on November but he has not set a specific date as yet,” he told reporters.

In the last general election, Barrow, who has said he is bowing out of active politics, led the UDP to a third consecutive victory at the polls.

CMC

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