The Organization of American States (OAS) will send an election observation mission (EOM) for the general elections that will take place in Belize on November 4, according to the agreement signed on Friday by the OAS and the government of Belize.
In this election, voters will elect 31 members of the House of Representatives. The new Parliament will have the responsibility to appoint the future prime minister.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro noted that the EOM in Belize will be the 12th carried out by the OAS in 2015, and he underscored the work of missions as guarantors of democracy in the Caribbean country and in the Americas.
“On October 25, the OAS will be deploying EOMs in Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti. A few days later, it will be sending a mission to the legislative elections in Paraguay, and it is possible that there could be additional ones before year end, particularly in the Caribbean where the OAS has observed elections in all countries, except Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
"It is an active schedule that demonstrates the OAS EOMs are therefore making a meaningful contribution to the strengthening of democracy in the hemisphere," added Almagro.
Meanwhile, the permanent representative of Belize to the OAS, Patrick Andrews, acknowledged the support of the organization and conveyed his government's commitment to facilitate the work of the mission.
“As has been said by our prime minister and our government, we will ensure fair and democratic elections. We are looking forward to their successful conclusion, and I will keep you informed of how things develop, as I know the mission will too,” said the Belizean diplomat.
This will be the second time that the OAS has deployed an election observation mission to Belize, following the 2012 general and municipal elections in that country. In addition to the electoral process itself, the mission will pay particular attention to political financing, electoral organization, and gender equity.
The agreement on privileges and immunities signed during the ceremony provides that the OAS EOM will arrive in Belize a week prior to the elections.