2018 Guatemalan territorial dispute referendum

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Guatemalan territorial dispute referendum, 2018
Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?
Elecciones generales segunda vuelta Guatemala 1999.png
Map of Guatemala
Location Guatemala
Date15 April 2018 (2018-04-15)
Results
Votes %
Yes 1,780,530 95.88%
No 76,602 4.12%
Valid votes 1,857,132 92.64%
Invalid or blank votes 147,597 7.36%
Total votes 2,004,729 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 7,522,920 26.65%
Website: TSE Guatemala

A referendum on the territorial dispute with Belize was held in Guatemala on Sunday April 15, 2018.[1][2] Voters were asked whether the Guatemalan government should request the International Court of Justice to finally resolve the territorial dispute, as part of a commitment signed in December 2008 between Guatemala and Belize. Guatemalan Vice President, Jafeth Cabrera, stated that Belize would hold their referendum in response in May 2018, but Belize released a statement denying this, stating rather that they will hold the referendum after the re-registration process has occurred to ensure an accurate and fair vote.[3]

Background[edit]

  Not disputed territory
  Disputed territory

In May 2015, Belize allowed Guatemala to proceed with a referendum asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to definitively rule on the dispute although Belize by its own admission is not ready for such a vote. A previous treaty between the two countries stipulated that any such vote must be held simultaneously. Guatemala was initially expected to hold its referendum on the issue during its second round of presidential elections in October 2015, but such a vote was not on the ballot.[4] Belize has yet to announce its vote on the matter.[5]

Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales has made statements strongly in support of Guatemala's longstanding territorial claim to Belize, saying, "Something is happening right now, we are about to lose Belize. We have not lost it yet. We still have the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice where we can fight that territory or part of that territory."[4]

In case the population votes for the "No", a referendum will be called again in six months, until it wins the "Yes", since both countries agree that the only way to solve the dispute is by means of the International Court of Justice. The call for the referendum was made on October 23, 2017.

Administration[edit]

On August 2, 2017, the Guatemalan Congress approved the agreement 22-2017, which allows the president to immediately submit to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal the request to convene the referendum. The agreement was approved by 102 votes in favor and 14 against. The European Union will provide financial assistance for this to take place.

The Government of Guatemala convenes a public consultation, and immediately, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal called a referendum on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Around 7.5 million people registered for the referendum. Members of the armed forces (Air Force, Army, and Navy), people in prison, and Guatemalans living abroad were not allowed to vote.[6]

Question[edit]

The question of the referendum was asked "Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?".

Ballot question
English Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?
Spanish ¿Está de acuerdo que cualquier reclamo legal de Guatemala en contra de Belice sobre territorios continentales e insulares y cualesquiera áreas marítimas correspondientes a dichos territorios sea sometido a la Corte Internacional de Justicia para su resolución definitiva y que esta determine las fronteras de los respectivos territorios y áreas de las partes?

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
Yes 1,780,530 95.88
No 76,602 4.12
Invalid/blank 147,597
Total 2,004,729 100
Registered voters/turnout 7,522,920 26.65
Source: TSE
Vote share
Yes
95.88%
No
4.12%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Guatemala avalará en las urnas el 15 de abril diferendo con Belice". Prensa-latina.cu. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ "Guatemaltecos irán a las urnas en 2018 por el referéndum con Belice | Publinews". Publinews.gt. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  3. ^ "Belize Government rejects referendum date by Guatemala's Vice President". Belize News and Opinion on www.breakingbelizenews.com. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  4. ^ a b Trujillo, Renee. "Presidential Candidate for Guatemala Says Belize Can Still Be Fought For" Archived 2015-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, LOVE FM, 9 September 2015 (accessed 28 September 2015)
  5. ^ Ramos, Adele. "Belize and Guatemala to amend ICJ compromis", Amandala, 12 May 2015. (accessed 14 May 2015)
  6. ^ "Órgano electoral da luz verde a comicios generales". s21.com.gt. Retrieved 7 September 2015.

External links[edit]