As the Easter holiday approached and Belizeans were focused on preparations for their Easter vacation, the Government of Belize announced, via a brief press release today, that the referendum regarding whether Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory should be taken to the ICJ (International Court of Justice), will be held on Wednesday, May 8.
The government announcement comes roughly three days after the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Act was passed through the Senate on Monday and was sent to the Governor General for his signature.
The referendum was scheduled to have been held on April 10, but five Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) parliamentarians and a PUP standard bearer, filed a claim at the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the Special Agreement (compromis) which had set the stage for the referendum, and on April 3, the Chief Justice, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, granted an interim injunction halting the referendum.
In desperation, the government attempted to get the Chief Justice’s injunction lifted with an appeal at the Court of Appeal.