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Jul 20, 2018

Chief Justice dismisses PUP’s San Pedro Election Petition

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today dismissed an election petition brought by the People’s United Party against the San Pedro Town Council, affirming the results of the March seventh elections results. The P.U.P. San Pedro Mayoral candidate, Andre  Perez and his team, had filed the election petition, asking the Chief Justice to declare the results void and that the U.D.P.’s Daniel ‘Danny’ Guerrero and his slate were not duly elected. The basis of the P.U.P.’s claim was that arithmetic errors made during the election process, errors that ultimately affected the results. P.U.P. says there was a discrepancy of two hundred seventy-five ballots and given the small margin of thirty-eight votes between Guerrero and Perez, the P.U.P. filed the election petition seeking to overturn the election results. The Chief Justice heard closing arguments back on May twenty-eight and today ruled that while there were irregularities during the election process; those irregularities did not affect the results. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo was in court this afternoon and has the following story.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

San Pedro Mayor Daniel ‘Danny’ Guerrero exited the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin with his mind at ease.

 

Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro Town

Daniel Guerrero

“It has been at ease. I have been very confident. I think the election was cleaned as I mentioned from day one. The malicious act of the People’s United Party did not work because they want to gain power no matter what way or form. So to me we have been very calm, very smooth and the court has proven that we have been elected legally.”

 

In an oral ruling, the Chief Justice ruled in favor of the San Pedro Town Council, dismissing the election petition filed by the PUP’s San Pedro Mayoral Candidate Andre Perez and his slate. Perez had asked the Chief Justice to declare the March seventh San Pedro elections results void. Perez contested that procedural irregularities during the election process greatly affected the results. The Chief Justice disagreed.

 

Daniel Guerrero

 “From day one we knew that the people’s wish was to elect a UDP town council and it was just proven today that it was a very valid election. Here we are. It is a second win for the United Democratic Party so we have defeated the People’s United Party twice. I must apologize for the PUP bringing the public officers to the court, actually throwing them under the bus. I think they did an excellent job, the public officers. But yet we still proved them on a system that works and the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. So I mean we knew this from day one.”

 

 

 

In his ruling, the Chief Justice stated that while there were procedural irregularities, those irregularities did not substantially affect the results. Perez however still believes otherwise.

 

Andre Perez, San Pedro Mayoral Candidate, P.U.P.

Andre Perez

“The underlying fact that we need to look at is that we cannot forget that serious errors were made during the process and that was acknowledged by the Judge. That is important. We from the People’s United Party want to thank our voters as well for supporting us. At the same time we want to know as well that we did our part in fighting and ensuring that fair elections are being held and democracy which is the key word is preserved. That is why we felt that we gave a good fight. We never gave up. We felt that our rights were violated and that is why we fought on that premise. We cannot forget that. I think last but not least is that one of the most important thing is that we remain convince and more than sure that the People’s United Party in San Pedro, residents living in San Pedro voted overwhelmingly for the People’s United Part.”

 

Daniel Guerrero

“Those errors were after the fact and actually the election was won. The People’s United Party people signed off and that was an election done. After what happened was after the fact. So the election was a clean election.”

 

After consultation with lawyers, Perez will decide whether to appeal the case. He asserted that their claim was genuine and the court’s time was not wasted.

 

Andre Perez

“We had a responsibility. I go back to what the Judge said that many errors were made. This needs to be a learning lesson and we as a Party and the nation we must be on vanguard. Although we still remain convince that errors could have still affected the results we must be on the lookout for the entire nation. So I think a lesson has been learned. So anything for you to be saying that this has been a waste of time, I shoot it down plain and straight.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Sir did you anticipate this result because we know that you have been campaigning on Facebook to contest the constituency? One might interpret that that you might have been anticipating this particular result.”

 

Andre Perez

“None at all. Anticipation is not the word of what we had expected today. The work of the People’s United Party and Andre Perez is that work must continue. The show must go on. We cannot stay on our laurels and say what the judgment will be. So I shoot down as well, plain and straight.”

 

The parties are to cover their own cost. Reporting for News 5, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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