On Saturday the people’s United Party held its first National Party Council meeting under its new administration since the national convention, and the main topic of discussion was Guatemala’s claim over the Sarstoon and GOB’s decision to implement the statutory instrument that impedes Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon. During their meeting the People’s United passed a very important resolution that includes six main points that essentially highlights their disapproval for the Public Safety Act regulations introduced on Friday, April 29, restricting movement in the Sarstoon and calls on GOB to rescind the law.

Screen_Shot_2016-05-09_at_8.02.32_PMHenry Charles- People’s United Party Party Chairman

“A very critical resolution was passed this morning and the resolution has six faucets to it; first of all we condemn the Guatemalan escalation of troops at the border and we require that the Guatemalan de-escalate that immediately. (2) We demand that the Government of Belize rescind the unconstitutional Sarstoon Law immediately. (3) We have gotten the approval of the National Party Council to reengage with the government when it comes to the National Effort when it has to be done on items and terms of respect, the requirement that the law be rescinded.  (4) That if the law if not rescinded the People’s United Party, Party Council has resolved to travel to the Sarstoon and finally the amendment made this morning was that the Area Representatives of the People’s United Party be respected in their various constituencies and that the system of caretakers be abolished immediately.”

The PUP is asking that the law be rescinded immediately and according to PUP Chairman, Henry Usher, if their request is not met the party intends to challenge the law legally by taking it to court to prove that it is unconstitutional and to move forward with their planned trip to the Sarstoon which the Prime Minister has advised not to take place.

Henry Charles- People’s United Party Party Chairman

“I believe that if the government and the Prime Minister came to the national public and said that escalations are eased, that the trip has eased then why the need for the law, why a need to have a law restrict Belizeans, why the need to have a law that punishes Belizeans, there are two ways we are challenging this law, we believe that the law is unconstitutional, we are taking out a legal challenge to the law in the court and also we will be travelling to the Sarstoon to state very clearly our position that the law is unconstitutional, that move to the Sarstoon will be done after consultation and after we work out all the logistics but it will be done within the thirty days’ time frame that has been set.”

Also included in the resolution passed on Saturday was the decision of the Party council to rejoin GOB in the diplomatic effort to resolve the Guatemala crisis – if they are treated with respect and consideration moving forward and the Public Safety Act regulations is removed.

Henry Charles- People’s United Party Party Chairman

“I believe that the party leader, Honorable John Briceno has gone above and beyond his duty in terms of reaching out, in terms of working with the Prime Minister and working with the Foreign Minister and as a Party we always belief that this issue, the Guatemala/Belize issue is a national issue and it goes above party politics but at the same time there are certain elements within that issue that we have to demand that it not happen unilaterally, the Government of Belize under Dean Barrow passed a law unilaterally, he did not consult us and we believe that that law is unconstitutional, they had meetings in CARICOM, they had meetings in Washington and the gave very lame excuses as to why the opposition was not invited to those meetings, if you want meaningful partnership, if you want a respectful partnership then you have to treat us with respect and you have to listen to what we are saying as well.”

No exact date has been set for the party’s trip to the Sarstoon but it is expected to be taken within the 30-day period that the Statutory Instrument remains in effect.

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