By Michelle Sutherland
The Reporter has confirmed with credible sources that the Chief Elections Officer is in the process of informing the Governor-General of Belize Froyla Tzalam that the churches have successfully met the required threshold to trigger a referendum on the legalization of marijuana in Belize.
We are being told that the vetting of the petitions concluded today and that the total amount of signatures accepted amounted to 18,891. That amount is representative of approximately 10.07 % of the total number of registered electors in the entire country.
A total of 1,221 signatures were rejected, out of the 20,112 that were initially submitted to the Governor-General on May 3rd, 2022, for vetting by the Elections and Boundaries Department.
With an approximate 187,520 electors in the entire country, that means that the churches managed to cross the required threshold with only 138 more signatures to spare.
While this is a developing story we would like to remind readers that under the Referendum Act, the Chief Elections officer is now required to provide a certificate to the Governor-General confirming that the threshold has been met. The Governor-General then has 30 days within which to issue a Writ of Referendum, informing of the prescribed date for the referendum.