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Sep 18, 2020

BPM Doesn’t Support Wil for Fort George

On Tuesday, Wil Maheia of the Belize Progressive Party declared his candidacy for the Fort George division in Belize City. But his colleagues from the Belize Peace Movement are not happy about his decision. Bobby Lopez of the BPM wrote to Maheia to express concern on behalf of the group of seven petitioners who took the re-districting issue to the Supreme Court. Lopez writes, “We are gravely concerned that your expressed intention to participate in the said general elections would severely injure our redistricting case before the Supreme Court, unquote. It goes on to point out to Maheia that it would be difficult to convince the court the that his hands are clean when he, quote, prepares to voluntarily participate in an election with electoral divisions that are severely malapportioned; especially since malapportionment is the central plan of our cause of action.” In short, the seven petitioners of the B.P.M. do not support Maheia’s candidacy and they are now asking him to consider how it will affect the case.  The letter ended by asking Maheia to withdraw from seeking electoral office. Today, we reached out to the B.P.P.’s leader Patrick Rogers who didn’t want to comment on record but says that this effort is to undermine the B.P.P. believed to be influenced by outside parties.  When we caught up with Kareem Musa today we asked for his legal opinion on the B.P.M.’s position.

 

Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Area Rep., Caribbean Shores

“I think what Mr. Lopez is suggesting is that what Wil Maheia is doing is conceding to the status quo and the status quo being that we are accepting that Fort George which is a smaller division will remain in existence this election. The re-districting exercise is a very difficult process. As you know there is a court proceeding that is in place before Chief Justice Madam Justice Arana which is not likely to have an outcome before the general elections. I personally don’t think that Wil Maheia is jeopardizing the case but I don’t foresee that there will be a next re-districting exercise before the next general elections. So, in my opinion, legally, I don’t think he is jeopardizing it.”

 

Our attempts to reach Maheia for comment were futile. We also reached out Lopez for comment but he indicated that the letter was an internal document not intended to be leaked. He says the executive will be meeting this weekend and will put out an official statement on the matters at hand.


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