Country Report Belize October 1996 Main report

Political scene: Opposition stops voter enumeration

The Supreme Court recently ordered a halt to the voter enumeration process taking place in the Cayo West electoral division. Although the enumeration had been taking place in 11 of the country's 29 electoral divisions, Cayo West was chosen by the opposition People's United Party (PUP) for a test case. The PUP claims that the process contravenes the Representation of the People Act, which states that enumeration can only take place in the two years following a general election, in order that an updated list be available to all parties well in advance. The PUP's broader argument, however, was that the enumeration of less than half the country's electoral divisions would create errors and inconsistencies in the register. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) responded with the accusation that the PUP had filled the electoral register with double entries and bogus voters. The chief elections officer stated that he intended to continue enumeration in the remaining ten divisions.

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