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Jul 17, 2020

E&B Chairman responds to criticism of appointment

Estevan Perera

And what does the new chairman make of the opposition to his new role expressed during the Senate debate? Estevan Perera was asked about the comments that question his ability to be impartial and fair considering his political connections with the United Democratic Party and by extension members of government.  The attorney has served on boards and held other posts during the tenure of this government. Here’s what he had to say.

 

Reporter

“Explain to us your thoughts on the concerns that you wouldn’t be able to function independently?”

 

Estevan Perera, Chairman, Elections & Boundaries Commission

“Well, I believe that the persons who raised those concerns, before they raised those concerns, they recognized – every person who spoke and spoke on the fact that whether or not that they knew me, they didn’t say anything negative about my integrity and didn’t say anything negatively on whether or not I can be impartial, for whatever reasons they chose to take the direction that they did. However, majority of the senate members did acknowledge my ability to be independent and in regards to your question as to the appointments that I previous held, I have only been back for the last eleven years so any appointment could have possibly only been under this administration. What is important, and I think everyone needs to recognize that there is a flaw in the suggestion that they have made, every person in this country who is above the age of sixteen or had voted at some point in time. So, they have perhaps voted for the party in power now or the other party, the PUP. Now, that fact that you at one point voted or supported a political party should not be the grounds for which you as a Belizean cannot be appointed to a particular position, whether it is a judgeship or a position as the chairman of elections and boundaries. What is important is that at the time of being appointed, you become and you show the impartiality and you hold yourself to a certain level and your integrity becomes paramount. What they failed to recognize and say as well is that I didn’t write the constitution and it makes it clear that the position of the chairman of elections and boundaries is an independent position. It is set for a period of five years. So, what that does is that it prevents the UDP or the PUP from interfering with the decision of the chairman. The chairman is independent in that regards.”


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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