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Apr 10, 2012

Orlando Habet vs. Elvin Penner; another election petition before the Courts

Rodwell Williams

It has been a little over a month since the historic March seventh general and municipal elections and lawyers on both sides of the political divide are still pursuing legal action by filing election petitions in the Supreme Court. Today, senior counsels Rodwell Williams and Said Musa appeared before Justice Minnet Hafiz where Musa’s client, P.U.P. Cayo North standard bearer, Orlando Habet filed a petition against returning area representative Elvin Penner on a number of issues stemming from the elections. Among the issues are a recount of ballots as well as an allegation of bribery. While the petition for the allegation of bribery was struck out, Justice Hafiz granted leave for the petition for a recount. Following today’s proceedings, both attorneys spoke with the media.


Rodwell Williams, Attorney

“The application was on multiplicity of grounds: bribery, treating, nationalization, registration process; you name it—every conceivable ground. In other words, the whole kitchen sink was thrown. The judge accept my preliminary objection to say that given that they require twenty-eight days from the alleged bribery and treating which allegedly occurred on the seventh of March; twenty-eighth days would have expired last week Wednesday, April fourth, and therefore they cannot now be considered for leave and so she disallowed them seeking to apply for leave in relation to that grounds. However, she felt that on the sole ground of what is tantamount to asking for a recount that that requires twenty-one days from a different date—not from the date of the election—but twenty-one days from the date of publication of election results in the gazette.”


Said Musa, Attorney

Said Musa

“We attached a copy of the petition that we intend to file along with the application for leave. We did that out of an abundance of caution simply because of this limitation on timing in which to file a petition. There is nothing sinister about it. In fact we were giving away our hand before we were granted leave so the other side would know what we were claiming.”


Rowland Parks, Reporter

“So if we are to understand this process, you were given leave specifically only for the recount aspect of your petition—there were other attachments to your petition that were denied by the court?”


Said Musa

“Yes that is so. The court having heard the arguments and indeed the affidavits of Mister Orlando Habet and Mister Codd in particular, ruled that we would have leave to file the election petition because issues surrounding the denial of the recount may require further deliberation on the part of the court which will be heard—in other words, further evidence will be heard on both sides as to the circumstances that took place during the recount on the night of the election.”


Rowland Parks

“But you are also seeking to void the result of the elections based on this recount refusal. Can you elaborate on that?”


Said Musa

“Well the representation of the people act provides that if there is noncompliance with any of the sections of the act; that alone will constitute grounds for denying the validity of the election of the person against whom it is brought.”

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5 Responses for “Orlando Habet vs. Elvin Penner; another election petition before the Courts”

  1. Cayo area says:

    Power to the people, we deh wid Landy…. Penner a Hijacker of Election….

  2. CEO says:

    Cayo Area you should be with the law not with Landy! If they have a case let themn proove it and let the chip fall where they may.

    Belizean politics is growing up!

  3. OW says:

    I agree with you Cayo Area -


  4. Pontius Pilate says:

    Belize’s law is superficial, CEO! Belize is fast moving to a banana republic. Just analyze how Rodwell Williams speaks!!! Belizeans will have to take the law in their hands. Survival of the fittest.

  5. griga dang says:

    we deh with LANDY

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