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Jul 27, 2006

Smiling seeks redress over free zone election

After taking his case to the court of public opinion, this morning Winston Smiling took his beef over elections in the Corozal Free Zone to the country’s Supreme Court. Smiling is applying for leave for judicial review after being denied the use of proxy forms during elections in the zone earlier this month. Before Justice Samuel Awich this morning, attorney Fred Lumor, appearing on behalf of Smiling and C.F.Z. businessman Gulab Sharma, presented four reasons why new elections should be held. Those points have since been whittled down to one main allegation: that Chief Executive Officer of the Corozal Free Zone, Joel Cervantes, failed to follow regulations during the zone’s elections. For her part, attorney Lois Young Barrow, representing Cervantes and the Ministry responsible for Free Zones, pointed out that the second claimant, Gulab Sharma was successfully elected so he has no standing to complain. Secondly, Young Barrow maintains that the elections were held according to the governing legislation so there is no possibility of success for Smiling’s case. Justice Awich will announce his decision on whether to grant the judicial review on Monday. On July tenth, elections at the Free Zone named Gulab Sharma, Anil Hotchandani, Curtis Arnold and Carlos Parra as the private sector representatives to the board. Smiling asserts that for the first time, proxy forms he presented were not allowed to be part of the vote count. The result, claims Smiling, was that he finished dead last in the balloting.

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