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Oceana Questions Rejection of over 8,000 Valid Petition Signatures

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Press Release
February 2, 2012

For Immediate Release

OCEANA QUESTIONS ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES’ REJECTION OF OVER 8,000 VALID PETITION SIGNATURES

Oceana in Belize has responded to a letter from the Elections & Boundaries Department to the Office of the Governor-General, certifying that the referendum petition requirements were not met. This letter claimed that “The total number of signatures REJECTED amounted to Eight Thousand and Forty Seven (8,047) or 40% of the signatures reviewed.” The reason for these rejections was not supported by any explanations whatsoever.

Oceana has written to the Governor-General, explaining our concern about the legitimacy of that number given, as well as on the lack of an explanation as to why they were rejected . We have also asked him to make a formal and expeditious enquiry to the Elections and Boundaries Department, to respond formally as to what the particular circumstances were which caused the rejections.

Oceana believes firmly in the strength of the petition signatures of Belizeans across the length and breadth of this nation. We believe that the Belizean people have a right to be heard through the democratic process afforded by a referendum. We categorically denounce what we consider to be a consorted effort by the government to deny this right–a right that they themselves have publicly claimed to support.

Contact:

Niall Gillett
Public Relations
Oceana in Belize
610-5700

END

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