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Nov 24, 2023

Case Dismissed! P.U.P. Fails to Prove Claim Against Shyne Barrow

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

The claim brought by the People’s United Party, involving an address used by the Leader of the Opposition as his place of residence, has been dismissed by the lower courts.  This afternoon, Chief Magistrate Jayani Wegodapola rendered a decision on the matter that was lodged before her regarding Shyne Barrow’s 80 King Street address.  While the Elections and Boundaries Department approved the use of that location when Barrow applied to be registered as a voter in Mesopotamia, the P.U.P. argued that he does not live in the constituency.  Several witnesses appeared before the Chief Magistrate, on behalf of the People’s United Party.  They, however, failed to prove that the U.D.P. area representative does not reside at the address in question.  So was it all just a failed political witch hunt or was it a legitimate claim that was brought before the court?  And, how difficult would it have been for the P.U.P. to prove its case?  Following the dismissal attorney Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, who represents Barrow, spoke with reporters.


Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“It was not simple.  The consequences could have been devastating because none other than the Constitution of Belize is very clear that a person who has committed an election offense cannot remain or cannot enter the hallowed halls of the House of Representatives.  What has transpired in this matter is that two former political personalities in the small constituency of Mesopotamia in Belize City had initially raised objections, which they are entitled to do, as the Chief Magistrate read just now.  The law is that so long as you are a voter in any constituency and another person is seeking to get on the roll or is on the roll, you can raise an objection providing it is done within the timeframe of the law.  So there was an initial objection when the transfer list was published.  That objection was clearly abandoned.  The learned Chief Magistrate, as revising officer, waited practically the whole of that particular day and no one showed or sent any message as to why they would have been absent.  Come the annual voters list, referred to in the law as the rolls, which has to be completed by the twenty-fifth day of November in each year, the Chief Magistrate of Belize is the revising officer and so this matter only popped up in the month of November.  The proper formalities was done by the same two previous objectors in late October, in time to catch the date in November when an objection is to be lodged.”

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