||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American
States (OAS) today presented a report to the Permanent Council on the
national and municipal elections held on March 7, 2012 in Belize,
highlighting the massive turnout on a day in which more than 73% of
registered voters took part, as well as the peaceful environment in
which it took place.
“The OAS Electoral Observation Mission
congratulates the people of Belize for their high voter turnout and for
the peaceful manner in which they carried out one of the principal
responsibilities of citizens in all democracies,” said the Head of
Mission, Ambassador Frank Almaguer, who introduced the report that also
highlighted as a positive element the "ethnic diversity" of the national
and municipal candidates.
Ambassador Almaguer said that this was
the first mission of the OAS observation in Belize, which included 22
observers from 12 countries. "On Election Day, these observers were able
to visit all six of the country’s political districts, all
municipalities and more than 85% of the country’s 139 voting centers,"
The report of the MOE said that "final results in the
General Elections gave 17 seats in the national parliament to the
incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) and the remaining 14 seats to
the People’s United Party (PUP).”
Among its observations, the
MOE said that "women play a significant role in the Belizean political
process," but “only 4% of candidates in the general election were
women." In this regard, the Mission said, with concern, “this gender
imbalance in the electoral process” is “unfortunately common in the
The Ambassador of Belize to the OAS Nestor Mendez,
meanwhile, thanked the MOE and the governments of Bolivia, Chile,
Mexico, United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland for their funding
contributions to the visit of the election observers. The diplomat
referred to the mention of the low participation of women, noting that
many candidates were women and some were elected.
General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, praised the "full report" of
the mission led by Ambassador Almaguer, thanked the Government of Belize
for the facilities it offered the MOE, and regarding the issue of
female participation, said that "such recommendations are made to all
countries in the region.” “Our job is to help countries in the region in
strengthening their electoral systems," said Insulza.
part, the representatives of Mexico, Panama and St. Kitts and Nevis
congratulated Belize for the successful electoral process.
a separate agenda item, the Permanent Council heard a report by the
Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on
Agriculture (IICA) Victor Villalobos, who stressed the importance that
the upcoming OAS General Assembly, to be held in Bolivia from June 3rd
to 5th, will take food security as its central theme. “To recognize the
importance of this issue is the first step toward resolving the pending
issues in the hemisphere has in this respect,” said Director Villalobos.
to data from the World Food Programme in the entire world there are
more than 300 million people who suffer from hunger, 53 million of them
are in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said the IICA Director, who
added, “this is an image that contrasts with the potential of the region
to produce and export food, with its capacity to receive investment,
with the improvement of its public policies, and its advances in terms
of the well being of its population.”
REPORT BY THE URUGUAYAN DEPUTY PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTER
Permanent Council also heard a presentation from the Deputy Minister of
Public Health of Uruguay, Leonel Briozzo, who explained the Uruguayan
model on “reduction of risks and harm in unsafe abortion.”
Uruguayan Deputy Minister said “abortion is a complex issue” and
“politically incorrect,” but said it “costs lives in the region.” In
that context, he said that “Latin America holds the record for unsafe
abortions” in the world, and that there a “direct link” between deaths
of women who try to have abortions in unsafe situations and poverty. “We
developed a model” whose objective was “a decrease in mortality,” said
Finally, the Council heard a Report from the Committee
on Hemispheric Security and finished the session with a concert by the
Cuban-American pianist, Mari Paz, on the occasion of Americas Day,
celebrated April 14.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.
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