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Arrival Statement: CARICOM Election Observation Mission to Belize

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission to Belize has been meeting with various stakeholders ahead of the General Elections scheduled for 11 November 2020.

The six-member Mission, headed by Ms Jeannette Charles of Antigua and Barbuda, includes electoral officials from various Member States with extensive experience conducting international observation missions.

The Mission which began arriving in Belize on 7 November, issued an Arrival Statement on Monday 9 November.

Here is the full Arrival Statement:


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize, by way of Note Verbale dated 13 October 2020, invited the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to field a CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to observe the conduct of the Belize General Elections to be held on 11 November 2020.

As a result, a six-member CEOM arrived in Belize on 7 and 8 November 2020.  The Members of the CEOM are electoral officials from various CARICOM Member States with extensive experience conducting international election observation missions. The Observers are:

  • Ms. Jeannette Charles, Antigua and Barbuda – Chief of Mission;
  • Mr. Ian Hughes, Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Mr. E. Brian Thompson, Barbados;
  • H.E. Mr. Arley Gill, Grenada;
  • Mr. Samseerali Sheikh Alibaks, Suriname; and
  • Mr. R. Hemantkoemar Soerdjbalie, Suriname.

The Mission is supported by Ms. Valique Gomes and Ms. Serojnie Seetaram in the Directorate for Foreign and Community Relations of the CARICOM Secretariat who can be contacted by email: and

Since arriving in Belize, meetings have been held with various stakeholders.  As a precautionary measure with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic all of the appointments are conducted virtually.

On 8 November the CEOM met with the:

  • Chief Elections Officer, Belize Elections and Boundaries Department, and the Chairman and Members, Belize Election and Boundaries Commission;
  • Chairman and Members, Belize Peace Movement;
  • Department of Youth Services, CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (present and former) and other youth leaders;
  • President and Members, Belize People’s Front;
  • President and Members, National Trade Union Congress of Belize; and
  • The Honourable Patrick Faber, Leader Elect, United Democratic Party.

On 9 November the CEOM is scheduled to meet with the:

  • Hon John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition;
  • Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister;
  • CEO and Members, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • President, Council of Churches;
  • Chairman, Belize Progressive Party;
  • Executive Director, National Women’s Commission; and
  • President, Belize Bar Association.

On 10 November 2020 the Observers will visit a number of polling stations to observe the preparations in regard to the COVID-19 regulations and general preparation for the day of elections.

On 11 November 2020 (the day of elections) the Observers will observe the electoral process, including the preparations for the start of the poll, the opening of the polling stations, the casting of votes, the closure of the polling stations, the counting of the ballots and the preparation of the Statement of Poll; collect information on the results at the voting tables to assist in the quantitative verification of the results; collect qualitative observations regarding the voting process, comportment of the electoral officials and political actors, and on the overall electoral environment; and observe and assess the outcome of the elections and the initial immediate impact on the social and political environment.

The CEOM will collaborate in the preparation of the Report of the Observer Mission to be submitted to H.E. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community. This report will be shared with the Government of Belize, the Leader of the Opposition and the Belize Election and Boundaries Commission.

On 12 November 2020 the Chief of Mission will issue a Preliminary Statement based on the Observer’s reports from the day of elections.

The CEOM will depart Belize on 13 November 2020.

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission values the opportunity to contribute to the democratic process in Belize and appreciates the support and cooperation received since its arrival in the country.

9 November 2020

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