'The Economist' predicts election win for Barrow, UDP - 10/31/15 11:13 AM
A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit has been published online, dated October 23, 2015 as it relates to Belize. The Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU is based in the United Kingdom since 1946 and is said to be an independent business within the Economist Group that provides forecast and advisory services through in-depth research and analysis via monthly country reports; five-year economic forecast as well as industry reports. That report references several areas in Belize including a forecast and overview on the country’s imports, exports, its exchange rates as well as fiscal policy and policy indicators.
It is a 23-page document that will take some analysis… but for now, two sections that are timely in Belize are the documents forecast for the elections and the economy. According to the report, the Barrow administration may just have its three peat victory.
It states, quote, “The prime minister’s popularity and firm grip on power at both central and local level will support the UDP’s re-election chances. Barring a last-minute political scandal affecting the UDP, we expect that Mr Barrow will win a comfortable majority of seats in the legislature and a third consecutive term at November’s election, and our economic forecasts are based on this assumption. The weakness of PUP opposition and the lack of popularity of its leader, Francis Fonseca, will prevent it from mounting a serious threat to Mr Barrow’s re-election bid. Nonetheless, based on support in some strongholds, the party will retain a significant number of representatives in the legislature. The calling of a snap election prevented the PUP from choosing a new, more popular leader to contest the poll, but we expect that the party leadership will be forced to change after the election.” End of quote.
As it pertains to the Belize/Guatemala issue and other external relations, the document states, quote, “Belize’s relations with Guatemala, long tainted by a border dispute, will remain delicate, despite confidence-building measures implemented under the auspices of the Organisation of American States (OAS). The two countries have pledged to hold simultaneous referendums to decide whether to submit the dispute to binding arbitration at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. However, political will to push for a conclusion of the matter remains weak on both sides. The government will continue to favour close relations with Venezuela as long as benefits from preferential financing of fuel supplies under the PetroCaribe initiative remain intact. However, Venezuela’s fiscal difficulties and lower oil prices will erode the value of this aid. Relations with Taiwan, which has lent large sums for finance infrastructure projects in Belize, will remain strong. Support from the US and the UK will stay focused on combating the illegal drugs trade and money-laundering.” End of quote.