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Jul 8, 2022

U.D.P. Writes G.G.; Collet Montejo Must Vacate His Seat as Senator

The appointment of Senator Collet Montejo as Field Supervisor for the pending re-districting exercise has been rife with controversy.  From the onset, the opposition has been against the Deputy Secretary General of the People’s United Party being selected to serve in that capacity on the Re-division Task Force.  On Thursday, U.D.P. Chairman Michael Peyrefitte wrote to Governor General Froyla Tzalam calling for Senator Montejo to vacate his seat in the upper house.  Senator Peyrefitte, an attorney-at-law, cited sections of the Constitution of Belize that refer to such conflict where there is a duality in the roles of parliamentarians.  While the letter to the G.G. serves as a formal request, Peyrefitte says that the U.D.P. is prepared to go to court should Montejo choose to remain in both positions.  This afternoon, via Zoom, Peyrefitte addressed the media.


Senator Michael Peyrefitte

Senator Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party

“It gives me no pleasure to write a letter like that, but as the opposition we have a responsibility to make sure that the government upholds the law and follows the law, especially the constitution of the country.  Now you have a situation where there is only one field supervisor that’s going to be appointed for the redistricting exercise that the country is going through.  Now it is bad enough that the country decides to choose the Deputy Secretary General of the People’s United Party to be the field supervisor.  You can’t tell me that there are other people who cannot do that job in a professional manner without even being questioned as to whether or not there is any political bias.  That’s bad enough; however, Honorable Collet Montejo is a member of the National Assembly.  He is a member of the Senate and Section Sixty-three of the constitution is very clear.  It says that a person has to vacate his or her seat if they act in any office that: one, has any response that involves any responsibility for or in connection with the conduct of any election; or two: any responsibility, and this is the critical part, F2, any responsibility for the compilation or revision of any electoral register.  So when you decide that you are going to be a key person in the re-districting of constituencies and electoral offices, you are essentially going to determine how the register is compiled.  Honorable Collet Montejo will be in a key position to tell you how many people remain in Lake-I, how many people remain in Collet, how many people will remain in Albert or whether or not they will combine divisions.  That’s a key, key role and what the constitution envisages is that members of the parliament should stay away from the conduct of elections or having anything to do with the compilation of registers or the determination of voters lists or anything of the sort.”

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