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Jul 12, 2018

SolGen’s Advice is Sought on Public Officers’ Eligibility to Run in Elections

The notice of resignation tendered by NEMO’s Operations Officer Phillip Willoughby on July eleventh, paving the way for him to contest an upcoming U.D.P. convention in Port Loyola, was preceded by legal advice being sought by Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte.  Himself a U.D.P. candidate running for standard bearer in that constituency, Peyrefitte sought the advice of Solicitor General Nigel Hawke on the issue of a public officer contesting a convention.  In Regulation Sixty of the Belize Constitution (Public Services) Regulations 2014, it states that a public officer shall not participate actively on behalf of any political party or candidate in any elections held under the Representation of the People Act. This also includes the Belize City Council Act, Belmopan City Council Act and Town Council Act.  Willoughby has turned in his resignation letter with three months notice, to come into effect ahead of a constituency convention to be held in the latter part of the year. But will Willoughby surface at a statutory board?  In any case, it is well known that a number of persons paid through the government purse have been engaged in political activity for years, which is contrary to the Representation of the People Act.

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