Unofficial reports coming from polling stations countrywide indicate that the ‘Yes’ votes are leading by over 4000 votes.
The NO vote has won in Caye Caulker by a margin of 48 votes. These votes will be joined with the votes from San Pedro to get a total for Belize Rural South, and then this total will go into the “pot” for the national tally.
With a margin of 516 YES votes from San Pedro Town, Belize Rural South votes yes to the ICJ. Caye Caulker registered a NO vote by a margin of 44. Across the country, unofficial reports have the ‘YES’ vote leading, with 65% of the 148,500 re-registered electorates having participated in the Referendum.
The early results from most voting stations from around the country are indicating that the ‘YES’ vote to the ICJ Referendum is leading the NO votes by as much as 15%.
These are not official results, but early counting results of this margin of voting results usually indicate what is more likely to happen.
A ‘YES’ vote majority also does not mean that the PUP have lost anything,
The final unofficial voter turnout in today’s Referendum is as follows: Based On The Amount Of Registered Voters.
Overall unofficial tally for the entire country is over 65%.
Now that Belizeans have apparently opted to take the territorial dispute to the ICJ, the government must start preparing to face Guatemala at this international court. In the next six months, both countries will have the time to start planning their presentations, which will take place inside the Peace Palace, at The Hague, Netherlands, where the ICJ is headquartered. Guatemala will first present its evidence on her rights over Belize. Belize will then have six months to dispute the Guatemalan claim and convince the judges that its neighbor to the west has absolutely no title or rights over the Jewel.
Re: Results Of ICJ Referendum Indicate A 'YES'
#536243 05/09/1904:15 AM05/09/1904:15 AM
The results of Belize's May 8, 2019 national referendum on whether or not to take Guatemala's claim on Belize's territory to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. 65% of Belizean electors participated. 55% voted Yes and 44% voted No.
Re: Results Of ICJ Referendum Indicate A 'YES'
#536260 05/10/1906:04 AM05/10/1906:04 AM
Daniel Ortiz and cameraman Angel Noble went to Dangriga, and then to San Pedro - which is Belize Rural South, and here's what the polling areas looked like in those 2 divisions:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Yesterday morning in Dangriga, we found voters keen on deciding what they believe was the best for Belize. Among those brave enough to talk about their views on the ICJ, we found confusion and conviction in both a yes and a no vote for various reasons.
Reporter "So, you have absolutely no idea why you are voting."
Kenrick Slusher - Dangriga Voter "No idea why I am voting, that's why I am trying to ask somebody what am I going to vote for."
Reporter "But sir, this is one of the most important issues in this country's history. How come you don't know anything?"
Kenrick Slusher "I don't know anything about it because some people tell me that we are voting for Guatemala to get a part of Belize, and we get a part. I don't think it makes sense that Guatemala get any part of Belize."
Curtlyn Galvez - Dangriga Voter "The Yes Vote means that we're already giving away Belize, and the no vote means that we stil have time to put ourselves together so that we can go to the ICJ."
Gardenia Bradley - Dangriga Voter. "Yes would mean for me a chance to get forward to start and progress on to trying to make a better - to get a solution for the issue. And for me no would be also not trying to risk anything, being safe, but also being scared."
A lot of people like my family, a lot of them would be saying no because it's a risk, they say.
Adonis Martinez - Dangriga Voter "A believe a yes vote will basically set Belize free."
Reporter "Why do you believe that, sir?"
Adonis Martinez "Because people need - this is a long, pending issue, and it has been around for many generous, so do we want to deal with it now, or leave it for later?"
Ishmael Usher - Dangriga Voter "The reason I say no, and I will stick to a no vote, I think the citizens of Belize don't know what Guatemala's claim is. Within one year time, after voting yes to the ICJ, then we'll know what the claim is. Is the claim just to find out exactly where the order is at, or the entire Belize?"
Gregoria Sabal - Dangriga Voter "I know that me and my children, I believe we go yes. I believe they will say yes because you know what? Most of the ones who are saying no, is not even coming out to vote. So, if they don't want to come out and vote, I prefer they stay back and don't vote any at all. So, those ones who are voting yes, I believe its them who's coming out to vote."
Rowland Augustine - Dangriga Voter "Based on the history of the country, and with the Guatemalan claim, I believe it's fitting to go to the ICJ and try to resolve it."
Reporter "You do realize, though, that your opinion of going to the ICJ is kind of the minority. Most Belizeans we've spoken to tends to wants to say no."
Rowland Augustine "Well, you cannot blame anybody for how they feel, and how they think. But this is what I feel and think."
Up until around 1 p.m., San Pedro Town along with Caye Caulker Village, which make up Belize Rural South, had the lowest voter turn-out, but by the close of polls, over 63% of the registered electors of that division showed up to cast a ballot.
When our news team went to San Pedro to get a feel for voters opinions there, we found a number of them uncertain, up until the very last minute.
Shelly Huber - Voter, San Pedro "I hope that the people see what is happening in our country. I do not say that I would have never gone to vote for yes, or for now. But, my concern about this referendum is why a rush."
David Aguilar - Voter, San Pedro "I can see the point where we need to go to the ICJ because of all the treaties that we have. And we may have a good standing in the Court. But then, at the same time, I kinda lean to the no vote because what if we go and we vote for yes, and then, we lose at the court? We don't know what Guatemala is claiming for. And I believe that if we already have our independence, why should we go and try and put our little Belize in the air when we already have our independence?"
Ingrid Lima - Voter, San Pedro "Belizeans, we have a right to say yes or no, and for me, it's a no because our ancestors, they already fight this."
Reporter "For you, has it been a challenge trying to come up with a decision that you have this education campaign, but you also have the elements of politicizing it, and then there's misinformation as well? How challenging was it for you to come to a decision?"
Edialisa Cocom - Voter, San Pedro "Well, I just took my decision. It was very tough for me because I have listened to my kids as well, and to other people. It's a pretty tough challenge that I took today. But so far, I think that I am good that I made a right decision, and God bless all of us. We must remember that we are one people, no politics. This our country."
Reporter "What was it like for you, coming to your decision?"
Alejandro Coc - Voter San Pedro "Indeed a challenging [one] right because maybe for me, I understand a little bit. But majority of the people, they don't know, especially people from the South. Just imagine right, right here, we have TV, internet, and we have communication. People down south who will be most affected, whatever the outcome will be. Just imagine. They don't have any TV, internet, no cable, not even communication. It's hard for them."
Going back now to the result of Wednesday's referendum, Jules Vasquez drilled down into the numbers looking for trends and possible geographic reasons why 9 divisions voted "no" while 22 voted "yes"
As this map shows, the "Yes" vote prevailed in 22 constituencies. Those are the areas colored green - while the areas in orange said "no".
Interestingly four of the "no" constituencies are along the Guatemala border - four of them - Toledo East and West and Cayo West and Cayo North - all bordering Guatemala.
Another "no" constituency, Orange Walk North is against the border with Mexico, while two more, Corozal Bay and Corozal Southeast are set against territorial waters that border Mexico's waters.
So, you can say that of the 9 constituencies which voted "no" - 7 of them are along a border.
The only landlocked divisions that voted no are the constituencies of the two most powerful PUP politicians, Leader John Briceno, and National Deputy Cordel Hyde - but of whom campaigned for no.
Hyde's Lake Independence was the only division out of 13 in the Belize District which voted "no" - and it did so with the largest percentage of voters saying "no" at 55%.
For the Yes, the two most powerful UDP politicians delivered the strongest results. In UDP Leader's division, Queen's Square - which had the highest turnout percentage in the country at 84% - that area also had the greatest percentage of voters saying "yes" - 81%, or four out of every five voters said yes.
In the neighboring Mesopotamia division, 77% of the voters said yes, that's about three out of every four voters - again, the seat of 6 term representative Michael Finnegan.
Across the City - support for the "yes" vote was overwhelming - more than 60% of the voters in 8 of the 10 divisions including PUP held divisions - voted "yes." And even the much criticized Wilfred Elrington got 55% of the voters in his Pickstock division to vote "yes."
Numerically, the most "yes" votes came from the Belize District where turnout was also highest at just under 70%.
Turnout was lowest in the Toledo District - the only district with less than 60% voter turnout overall. Notably, Toledo East where the "no" campaigning was most militant, also had the lowest turnout at 58%.