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Apr 15, 2019

Party Politics at Elections & Boundaries Department?

The Senate met today and we will come to all the debate on the Belize Territorial Referendum Bill 2019. But first in the course of the debate, Senator Eamon Courtenay dropped a bolt from the blue to add to the cries of the politicization of the I.C.J. referendum campaign.  While the P.U.P. and U.D.P. have been pointing the finger at each other for overtly towing the party line where the national vote is concerned, what hasn’t been brought to light is what appears to be a deliberate act of partisanship by the Chief Elections Officer.  During his presentation, Courtenay detailed an incident in which Registering Officer Jerrylyn Bruce was reportedly instructed by Josephine Tamai to include a constituent from Caribbean Shores onto the voters’ list after the March deadline for registration.  In a letter written to Tamai by attorney and former U.D.P. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, it outlines a sequence of events in which a well-known U.D.P. supporter was allowed onto the voters roll after initially being informed that he was ineligible to participate in the upcoming referendum.  Bruce’s refusal to follow that directive has resulted in a transfer and a replacement by a junior officer.  Here’s Senator Courtenay dropping that bombshell earlier today.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Lead P.U.P. Senator

“April 11th, 2019, a letter, let me check, signed by Darrell Bradley, the former U.D.P. Mayor of Belize City, the aspirant, yet again, for Caribbean Shores addressed to Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer…  U.D.P. Mr. Bradley is writing to Ms. Tamai on behalf of a client, listen carefully.  Careful man, just patience and sweet oil.  Mr. Bradley is addressing her on the question of a letter that she wrote on March 26th, 2019 under the caption “Failure to carry out directives omitting applicants from the registrar of electors and monthly supplemental list.”  What is interesting about this letter Mr. Attorney General, and I will quote, Mr. Bradley says to Ms. Tamai: Trevor Arthur Charles Bradley came into the Elections and Boundaries Department on July 26th, 2018 to apply to be registered as an elector in the Caribbean Shores constituency.  Mr. Bradley presented his social security card but did not present any other form of identification as proof of Belizean citizenship.  As you are aware, proof of Belizean citizenship is required to process and complete an application for registration.  Mr. Bradley only had his social security card and so he could not register.  Mr. Bradley’s name was included in a list sent to Vital Statistics Unit for verification of Belizean citizenship and Vital Statistics Unit did not confirm his citizenship.  Vital Stats did not confirm his citizenship.  Again, in accordance with documented policies of the Elections & Boundaries Department, Mr. Bradley was sent a notice of disallowance dated January 29th, 2019, by registered mail.”

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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