Opposition in Belize says it is prepared for early election

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — The leader of the main opposition, People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceo, says the Dean Barrow g overnment should not interpret the results of the referendum on Belize’s long- standing territorial dispute with Guatemala as a signal to call early general elections in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) country.

The next general election is scheduled on or before November 1, 2020. In the last general election held on November 4, 2015, Barrow’s United Democratic Party (UDP) increased its majority in the Parliament from 17 to 19 seats while the PUP won 12 seats — losing two.

Belizeans voted on May 10 for the country to take its border dispute with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), despite a call from the PUP for a no vote.

“It’s not the PUP or the UDP that is going to the ICJ; It is Belize. and I think that all of us — political parties, NGOs, citizens we have a responsibility to be able to work together on this issue,” said Briceo.

“It is not about scoring political points. But it is about ensuring that we put our best face front — that we can put the best case possible to ensure that we protect every single square centimetre of what rightfully belongs to Belize,” he said.

Asked by reporters whether the PUP is prepared for an early poll, given there has been increased talk here that the polls would be held soon, Briceo replied “well that is something that we have been waiting for”.

“Whenever the government or the UDP decides to call elections we are going to be ready. We don’t know if the UDP is ready because they have some massive challenges, internal issues that they have to address in front of them. They don’t even know who will be the next leader. We are waiting,” Briceo added.

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