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Editorial – May 10th. 2019

Editorial – May 10th. 2019
May 10
14:31 2019

We expected that there would be many loyal PUP’s who would not be following the party line to vote against taking Belize’s case to the ICJ. And so it happened. We also expected that the swing vote, Belizeans who do not regard themselves bound to any of the major parties, would also vote “yes” in the referendum. And so they did.

The momentous vote showed Belizeans convincingly in favour of taking our claim to the ICJ and so resolve this dispute once and for all.

A victory for the UDP? Not really. It’s more a victory for common sense!

By taking their claim to the ICJ the Guatemalans have forced our hand and reinforced our resolve to scuttle this bogus claim once and for all. Belizeans have responded in a magnificent way. Now we are going to the ICJ and Senator Courtenay, the architect of the “No” vote, will not be going! It’s no great loss.

In getting ready for the big event, the Government of Belize should lose no time in preparing a list of the best people qualified to represent our country. Most countries send a team of 10 or more.

There should be ample room for international lawyers with experience at the ICJ to form part of the Belize team. We have already suggested the name of Professor Stephen M. Schwebel, a former President of the ICJ, if he is able to accept. We think Professor Stephen Vacienne of the UWI would also be a good choice.

The opposition, despite its strange behavior in opposing the referendum, should also be invited to submit a short list. Now that the decision has been taken to submit Belize’s case to the ICJ, it is time for us to come together and to put our best people forward. We will have about 12 months to prepare.

We are very grateful that the Reporter has been around for this momentous decision and has not shrunk from its clear responsibility of support for Belize in these trying times. This has been the most important decision we have taken in our newspaper’s 50-year history.

In these days of social media dominance when newspapers big and small are falling by the wayside, we hold that papers are vital and necessary for the democratic process to prevail. Long live Belize!

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