Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has deployed a Commonwealth Observer Group to observe the referendum in Belize proposed for 10 April.
The proposed referendum question is: "Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?"
The Observer Group is led by Hubert A Ingraham, former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, and is composed of ten specialists from across the Commonwealth with backgrounds in election management, law, gender, civil society, media, and politics.
Both the Group and the Commonwealth Secretariat have taken note of the ruling by Belize’s Chief Justice on 3 April, granting a temporary injunction until the Supreme Court further deliberates on the matter, and also notes the appeal lodged by the Government to the Court of Appeal.
The Group will meet a range of stakeholders in this context, including senior politicians, NGOs, trade unions, representatives from the private sector, the Referendum Commission, the Referendum Unit and other observers.
Other members of the Commonwealth Observer Group are:
Ms Lorna Simon
Supervisor of Elections
Antigua and Barbuda
Mr Orville Alton Turnquest
Former Cabinet Minister
Mrs Wyvolyn Patterson
Professor Luis G. Franceschi
Founding Dean Strathmore University Law School, International lawyer and Government Advisor
Professor Rwekaza Mukandala
Mwalimu JK Nyerere Professor of Pan African Studies
Chairman Elections and Boundaries Commission
Trinidad and Tobago
Hon Irene Ovonji-Odida
Independent Commissioner, ICRICT, Former member East African Legislative Assembly and AU/ECA High level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows
Baroness Denise Kingsmill
Member of House of Lords
His Hon David Radford
The Observer Group is supported by a four-person Secretariat Support Team led by Martin Kasirye.
For more information contact:
Adviser and Head Electoral Support Section
Governance and Peace Directorate
Tel: +44 7850 298 928 or +501 6390374