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Oct 28, 2015

Voting by Proxy, P.U.P. is Concerned

If you’re a public officer assigned to work on Election Day, chances are you won’t be able to vote. The same goes for military personnel on duty and members of our diplomatic corps abroad. That’s where proxies come in. Those persons are able to legally appoint someone to vote in their place. But what happens if proxies are issued for persons who don’t fall in the legally allowed categories? What happens if your proxy votes for you, and then you still show up to vote? Unlikely? Maybe? But the People’s United Party is very concerned about election hanky panky.  P.U.P. Legal Advisor, Anthony Sylvestre, told News Five that they are formally requesting information on all proxies who will vote in general elections 2015. 

 

Anthony Sylvestre

Anthony Sylvestre, Legal Advisor, People’s United Party

“We have received very credible information that upwards of five hundred proxies are said to have been appointed or assigned. The issue arises for consideration by the Belizean public at this point in time when everyone agrees that there are many constituencies where the electoral race will be close so that when proxies are appointed, and if they are not appointed in the legal way it could result in the government…because as you are aware it is the government of the day which effectively has control of the system – that proxy system can operate to the advantage of the government. Now we think it is important that the Belizean public understands this system of proxies. So that the people of Belize can understand as well that when we speak to this issue we are not raising alarms just because we want to. There is credible information that we have received of the extent of government mingling and government intervention in respect to the proxy system. There are certain categories of persons for which the law provides that someone can be appointed to vote in their place. That includes ambassadors and diplomatic personnel who are living abroad. As well it includes members of the B.D.F., public officers who are appointed to work Election Day. What concerns us is that there is credible information that proxies are being issued for individuals who would not fall within the categories set out in the election rules.”

 

According to Sylvestre, there should be a register of proxies which all parties can access, but despite repeated queries the P.U.P. has not been able to view that list. We tried to reach Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai for comment, but were told that she is out in the field. 

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1 Response for “Voting by Proxy, P.U.P. is Concerned”

  1. Marie says:

    How much vote per constituent would that be? Remember, no weapon formed against you will prosper.

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