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Jan 18, 2012

P.U.P. says no to politics in Election Commission

Lisa Shoman

The Elections and Boundaries Commission is chaired by known U.D.P. supporter Alberto August and also on the commission are two representatives appointed by the P.U.P.  The opposition believes that the Chairman should be independent and they believe that August should be removed. The P.U.P. Party Leader wrote a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the post. Senator Lisa Shoman explained to the media that she saw him carrying U.D.P. signs in the back of a pickup and handed them out to U.D.P. supporters. And for that she believes, he has to go.

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“The opposition is demanding that the Prime Minister look into the appointment of activist members of the U.D.P. who are currently serving on the Election and Boundaries Commission. Many of you have seen the chairman, Alberto August, acting as a poltical activist at the very foot of the steps of the National Assembly along with Mister Dean Lindo and Misses Philippa Griffith Bailey—these persons are on the commission of the elections and Boundaries Commission and we know that these are not right and proper things. The Election and Boundaries Commission is composed and comprised of Belizeans of the highest probity, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has the constitutional responsibility for direction and supervision of the registration of voters and the conduct of elections and the integrity of the commission is key to the democratic process. And in carrying out its duties, the commission has to be transparent, it has to be free from direction and control of any authority and from partisan considerations and we believe that in particular the chairman’s flagrant partisan display of activism has not gone unseen and will not go unchallenged. We are therefore calling on the Prime Minister to either require the immediate resignation or remove those persons from commission and replace them with persons without partisan considerations or affiliations and we therefore look forward to hearing from the Prime Minister on the urgent matter.”

Alberto August

“I know Alberto wears a red shirt almost every day, but outside of that, there are also two P.U.P. commissioners also. What is he really being charged with other than wearing that red shirt all the time?”

Lisa Shoman

“The Commissioner can’t be partisan person. Political person are invited to nominate persons to sit on the commission. You cannot say that you have ever seen Mister Derek Courtenay or Mister Landy Espat being activists in the way that either Mister Lindo or the secretary general of the United Democratic Party has been. In addition to that with my own eyes, I have seen Mr. Alberto August as have many of you, carrying signs in a back of a pickup truck and handing them out at the National Assembly steps during a gathering. He can deny all he wants—the photographs don’t lie.”

Jose Sanchez

“But yes, Mister Derek Courtenay is P.U.P. and he is not denying who he is.”

Lisa Shoman

“As I say to you sir, it is a matter of the political activism. Every single Belizean has the right to a political belief including those members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. What they are not allowed to do is display their partisanship in that blatant and unconscionable manner.”

At the press conference, Florencio Marin Junior also complained about the registration of voters in the Corozal District.

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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