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Feb 27, 2009

Questions about mayor’s eligibility in March elections

Until recently, Mayor Zenaida Moya has been considered a force to contend with, but her political fortunes now appear to be quickly frittering away amidst a string of recent scandals over financial allegations, mistruths and incompetent management. Tonight, the Mayor has one more to answer. As it turns out the Mayor is an illegal candidate for the March fourth Belize City Council elections.

Viewers will recall that last August Councilor Mark King gave his explosive interview exposing Mayor Moya. The U.D.P. leadership moved against him and introduced a law to amend the Belize City Council Act. Hidden in that law, was a section designed to disqualify King from running again as a city council candidate. It seems that Mayor Moya is now a victim of that very law.

This has to do with her place of residence, now known as the “mansion” at mile five on the Northern Highway. According to section 7(1)(i) of the Belize City Council Amendment Act which is Act Number nineteen 2008, and which was gazetted at the close of year on December thirty-first, 2008, no person shall be eligible for election as a member of the council who has not resided in Belize City for at least one year immediately preceding the date of election. Simply put Mayor Moya is disqualified from running, as since October of 2008, she has not been living within City limits. The boundary of Belize City, set since 1993, is the Belize River at the Haulover Bridge. The Mayor’s home is near mile five across the bridge and outside city limits.

The Mayor apparently got way with this illegality on Nomination day by using her mother’s address on Sarstoon Street. But there is ample proof that she lives at Mile five on the highway. And while she has denied the price of the building, she has not denied she lives there. Things appear to be catching up with the Mayor.

News Five has spoken to two lawyers who advise that with the evidence of her living out of the City since October 2008, she is clearly disqualified and ineligible to run on March fourth.

In an interesting bit of information, the Court of Appeal of Jamaica today handed down a decision in the seat of West Portland ordering a by-election. The winner was disqualified to run because he had dual nationality. The defeated candidate successfully challenged the election and now a by-election will be held for the seat.

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