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Feb 17, 2012

Yolanda Schakron’s nomination rejected

The P.U.P. has won consecutive elections in the Lake I division and Yolanda Schakron looked like a winning candidate, but the government on Thursday objected to her nomination because of her dual citizenship. She was in the process of renouncing her US citizenship but in the end, the question was whether or not the registering officer, Noreen Fairweather, had the authority to decide. The opposition rushed to court this morning to save Schakron’s nomination and News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report of the legal proceedings.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

While the P.U.P. gathered at Berger Field at nine, attorney Lisa Shoman was making a submission at the Supreme Court before Justice Oswald Legall  for an injunction against the returning officer for Lake Independence.  Yolanda Schakron was anticipating a breach of her constitutional rights. Rodwell Williams and Michael Young represented the government. Young argued the application for an injunction was misconceived since at nine a.m. there was no rejection of Schakron’s nomination. After receiving permission for a short adjournment, Shoman exited the courtroom.

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Yolanda Schakron

“I’m now going to the administration building to see whether my client’s nomination will be refused. We have applied to the court to protect her rights and therefore we are saying it is likely to happen because of the press release that was put out yesterday. We want to be sure of what is occurring. We want to preserve her rights. I will now go and see whether the nomination is accepted. If it is accepted then there is no need for the application before the court today. The judge has agreed and he has granted us that space of time to go and ensure. If it is refused then I will be back to court at 10:30 to start asking the court for an injunction to prevent the returning officer from having Miss Schakron nominated.”

Jose Sanchez

“Okay, but at this point in your opinion, can they reject her today or is it something that…?”

Lisa Shoman

“No! in my opinion they cannot because that is something that should go to the Supreme Court not to a returning officer.”

At ten-thirty Shoman exited the Charles Hyde Complex.

Jose Sanchez

“Miss Shoman what has happened now that you are coming out? Has Miss Schakron’s candidacy been rejected?”

Lisa Shoman

“No, the returning officer has taken the objection. She has listened to the submissions. I have made counter submissions to her and she is asking for some time so she can consider what both parties have said to her before she makes a decision.”

Jose Sanchez

“How does it affect your ten-thirty appearance which is now in Court?”

Lisa Shoman

“I am going back to court now.”

So, rushing back to court without a decision, Shoman was then accompanied by attorney Magali Marin.  But they were soon joined in court by Yolanda Schakron after the objection to her nomination was allowed by the Returning Officer. P.U.P. supporters then flooded Battlefield Park where they were confronted by heavily armed officers. Inside the court the chants of ‘we want Schakron’ could be visibly heard. But the arguments rested not on emotion but on Section 58 (1A) of the constitution, an election petition, the interpretation of what it means to be a duly qualified candidate, and more importantly whether or not the returning officer operated within the boundaries of the law.

But by two thirty in the afternoon all hopes were lost as Justice Legall rejected the application for the injunction. Schakron was moved to tears as this marked an end to her Lake I campaign.

Lisa Shoman

“The returning officer has exercised powers that we say she does not have. The court declined to grant an injunction because she had already exercised the power she has. The court believes that there is a right to look at section 58 when the law clearly only speaks of objections to the nomination paper. We’re saying that all other issues should go to the Supreme Court and not to an electoral officer. It is very interesting that the government has taken this route to take out what they think is a strong candidate. And they must or they would not have made the heroic efforts we had this morning. We are very confident that not only was this ruling not the correct one, but that we will be moving it forward. This is something that will be decided on behalf of Belize for all Belizeans. And what the media now needs to ask is who have been sitting in the House of Representatives with dual citizenship. Because the step that Misses Schakron has taken and will continue t take is an irrevocable step—she cannot go back on her renunciation. She had already—and this was pointed out to the returning officer by me—she has already taken the steps that were needed to show that she is no longer under allegiance to a foreign power. Even if she is no longer a candidate today, she cannot and she will not take back the step of renouncing her citizenship.”

Jose Sanchez

“Even moving it forward at four p.m.; that is the end of nomination day, she can’t…”

Lisa Shoman

“At four p.m. that is the end of the process; however, Mark King does not need to celebrate because it doesn’t end here. There is still the ability for us to take the procedure of challenging that decision that she has made, there is still the procedure of requiring an election judge to look at this and to see if the result is set aside because she should have been allowed to have been nominated and if the court says that; there will be a bi-election. And if there is a bi-election, I think you can see by the crowd that Yolanda Schakron will be returned as Lake I representative.”

Yolanda Schakron

Yolanda Schakron

“Thank you for the support of the Belizean people. I am a Belizean and I will continue working with the poor people of Lake I. I have seen the suffering, I have seen the pain, I have seen the crying of the homeless mothers, of the mother who have no husbands, no one to help them; I have seen the cries of the single mothers. Dean Barrow obviously has a problem with women holding office in the House of Representatives. But you know what; today he had to send his law partner, all the bigwigs against me. Me—one single mother, one woman, who grew up in the Southside. I want every Belizean woman to come out on March the seventh and vote against the vindictive, evil Dean Barrow and the U.D.P. government.”

Jose Sanchez

“Miss Schakron, nomination day ends at four p.m. today, how does this affect your relationship with Lake I? What is your next move?”

Yolanda Schakron

“I am in Belize to stay. Dean Barrow, the only way you can get rid of me dah if you kill me.”

Adele Ramos, Amandala

“Would you be willing to support another candidate should your party suggest that somebody else should go ahead with the nomination today?”

Yolanda Schakron

“Definitely because I will not allow Mark King to represent the people of Lake I.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “Yolanda Schakron’s nomination rejected”

  1. usa says:

    as i read this report and is only marry to a belizean… i can only pray for this woman… she need to eat some humble pie as my wife would say… i support you… your time will come just be humble

  2. Storm says:

    Is this the first step to establishing dictatorship and one-party rule in the Jewel?

    Where is democracy hiding, when Belizeans are prohibited BY THE RULING PARTY from voting for the candidate of their choice?

    We all need to think long and hard about this — if PUP votes can be stolen away, so can UDP votes be stolen. NO VOTE IS SAFE.

  3. No Nonsence says:

    Dean Barrow hides behind the letter of the law except when the courts tell him to give back BTL. Dean Barrow is a bully. Keep up the good fight Yolanda. We have to get rid of this dictator.

  4. alexander says:

    @no nonsence….. not only yolanda should get rid of this dictator, we all should by voting him out. this march 7th lets make a wiser decision and lets not be intimidated nor bribed with a couple hundred dollars and get ***** for another four years….. take di money vote dem out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. protect the reef says:

    When I think of our PM I think about my boss. My boss over the years has learned that Belizeans are so passive and he started challenging and forcefully implementing his will on us, first lightly, and now that he sees he can get away because we are “no action” people, he is out wild. We are ignorant and don’t understand the signs. Wait till Dean wins. Right now yu hear about what is happening down SOuth, did yu know that the ministers public afficers walk around armed now? Yes, they have guns. They haven’t spoken to the people for four years, right now they are humble, before, they have been out drinking, partying and hurtin a few families here and there. Wait till they win again

  6. ABC says:

    When Edmund Castro was asked about his green card, he said he gave it up in 2009, he was elected to the House in 2008, what is to be done about that??

    He might have given it up now, but he violated our constitution… Think jail time now.

  7. Brytis says:

    Why do people want so much to resist the law. The bible tells us that we should live by the law. If Schakron do what she is supposed to, then there will be another chance for her. This is just not the time.

    Folks, please understand how politics work. Politicians will eat each other if they must to get the vote. None is exempt. They will ALL lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. The one who hasn’t, please stand up.

  8. Be Real says:

    @ ABC let me be very frank and honest with you.

    A Green Card is a US residence permit. One does not swear allegiance to US in order to get a green card. I understand your grievances. But our Constitution bars those who have sworn allegiance to a foreign power or state. See section 58 Belize Constitution. It basically bars any Belizean with dual citizenship because such Belizeans have sworn allegiance to a foreign state.
    Basically if one has a Green card you are still eligible to run for the National Assembly. The same outcome if you have a residence permit of Guatemala or any other country in the world, while still being a Belizean citizen. One is barred by our Constitution from running for the National Assembly If one has a passport of another country because you are also a citizen of that other country and a citizen of Belize as well. Such persons have also sworn allegiance to that other country in order to become a citizen of that other state. Such persons are however still eligible to run for municipal elections as there is no constitutional or statutory prohibition on this. I hope this clears the air a bit.

  9. change says:

    well this is so obvious the udp has done maby foolish things. We are tired of it we need a change we at corozal southwest are tired of the foolish habits of gabriel martinez and his crowd. We need a change

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