A more than favorable outcome in the May eighth I.C.J. referendum has led many to believe that the U.D.P. government will ride the wave of an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote to a snap general election should one be called before the scheduled November 2020 timeline. In fact, Prime Minister Barrow has gone on record immediately following the results of the national vote to dispel the notion that Belizeans are once again headed to the polls to choose a new government. It did not stop the media on Monday from asking the PM if voters should expect to cast their ballots earlier than planned.
“The U.D.P. feels primed after the referendum outcome, the position they campaigned for was vindicated. Is there any chance of an earlier election than planned?”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“No sir. Two things. Number one, it wouldn’t work, in my view. But also, number two, I know it didn’t end up that way but I was serious in saying that you can’t see this thing, if there is a ‘yes’ vote as a U.D.P. win and you can’t see it if there is a ‘no’ vote as a P.U.P. win, or maybe that might have been a little different. But it would be insulting to all those P.U.P.s who voted yes and who came out. People like Lisa and Godfrey Smith and G. Michael Reid and Glenn Tillett and Joe Coye. You can’t treat this as some vote of confidence in the U.D.P., this is a stand-alone thing. This had to do with going to the I.C.J. and majority of people were sensitive enough to agree that that’s what we needed to do. Undoubtedly, politics being what it is, we have gotten what you call a referendum bump, but we’d fool ourselves if we think that means we could go to the public and say ahuh, general elections, let’s use that bump to try and propel us into a fourth term. No sir, it wouldn’t happen and I would not be fool enough to even contemplate such a thing for all the reasons I’ve said. So we’ll proceed in the normal course and I believe that we are looking at elections as scheduled, in November of 2020.”