The People’s Referendum – the People will go to the Polls to vote on Offshore Oil Exploration - Press Release, Belize City, Belize, February 14 - On Wednesday, February 29 2012, all registered voters of Belize will be able to go to the polls to vote on the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling as the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be carrying out a national People’s Referendum which will allow all registered Belizeans to vote on the issue. The Coalition is aiming at capturing the opinion of at least 10% of the registered voters.
The People’s Referendum gives voice to the thousands of Belizeans who never got a chance to vote when the offshore referendum triggered under the Referendum Act was derailed on the basis of unverifiable signatures. The unverified signatures were largely based on inconsistencies between signatures on the record cards at the Election and Boundaries Office and the signatures on the petition forms.
When the offshore referendum was derailed, the Coalition saw that it was clear that over 20,000
Belizeans would be voiceless on the issue under the Referendum Act. However, the Coalition strongly believes that the voice of the Belizean people should not be stifled and the People’s Referendum will give all those who signed the petition and all registered voters the opportunity to vote on the issue of oil exploration and drilling in Belize’s offshore.
The Coalition calls on all registered voters to stay tuned to local stations to hear where the voting booth will be located in their area. Anyone wishing to volunteer or donate in kind or cash can call 223-7266 or email: [email protected]
The People’s Referendum
The People’s Referendum is in response to the call of the public that action must be taken despite the disqualification of 8,000.00 petition signatures of the 20,000 who signed asking that a referendum be held for the voters to determine whether we should have oil exploration and drilling offshore Belize.
The Referendum date is Wednesday 29, 2012 and it will be held country wide. There will be polling stations in every electoral division. The exact locations will be announced soon so people need to stay tuned to the local media to hear the details in their area.
Registered voters only will be allowed to vote once but can vote in any polling area. Voters will be dipping their fingers in ink as a way to show who has already vote and once that voter has voted that will be entered into the database to make sure a onetime vote only. All will be done to ensure the integrity of the process.
Polls will be opened as early as 6:00 am and as late as 8:00pm. This time is in consideration of the fact that it is not a public and bank holiday and cognizant of the fact that many will be at work during normal working hours. We want to make sure that people can use their free time to make it to the polls and vote on this issue.
However, we call on employers to allow their employees time to go out and vote on the issue since it is a national issue and process in which every Belizean is democratically entitled to participate in.
WHAT WE NEED:
1. Financial donations to be made to Scotia Bank account under the name of The People’s Referendum – will provide actual number Monday;
2. In kind donations of food; water; tents; chairs; fuel; vehicles especially buses to get people out to the polls on that date;
3. Volunteers to man the phones; polling stations; events; district activities and information dissemination;
4. For people to get involved and go out on Referendum Day and vote No offshore drilling in this country.
Note: This is an initiative spearheaded by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage -