GUATEMALAN CONGRESS APPROVES REFERENDUM
September 14, 2010
The Guatemalan Congress late last week overwhelmingly gave its approval for a referendum to be held to give the people of Guatemala a say in whether or not that country’s claim to Belize should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. According to a report in the Prensa Libre newspaper, the approval of the referendum came during a regular session of the Guatemalan Congress last Thursday. What follows now is that president of the Guatemalan Congress will go to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal with instructions to carry out the referendum. No date or indeed a timetable for that move has been given. According to Prensa Libre the simple question requiring either a “yes” or a “no” vote that will appear on the ballot is: Are you in favor of having the International Court of Justice, with headquarters in The Hague, resolve the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala? Under the special agreement, also known as the compromise that was signed in December of 2008 by Belize and Guatemala it was agreed that if the people of both nations approved, by way of a simultaneous referendum on the same day, that the dispute would proceed to the ICJ. The outcome of any ruling handed down by the ICJ will be final and binding, regardless of in whose favor the ruling is handed down.
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