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Aug 7, 2006

Supreme Court grants judicial review of C.F.Z. elections

Story PictureLate this evening, Justice Samuel Awich handed down his latest decision in the matter of Winston Smiling versus the Corozal Free Zone … and it?s another victory for Smiling. Awich has granted the free zone businessman and his colleague Gulab Sharma permission for judicial review following their application to the court on the basis that there were irregularities during the election of private sector representatives to the Board of the zone. Smiling and Sharma have two weeks from the start of the next court session in September to file the necessary documents. Awich reminded the court that in applying for judicial review, applicants need not show a strong case, but simply an arguable one with reasonable prospects for success. The judge went on to say that based on affidavits from both sides, a lot of the facts in this case remain controversial. As part of his decision, Awich put an injunction on the election results and ruled that the status quo before July tenth remain in place until a final determination in the case … which puts Smiling back on the Board. Smiling and Sharma are arguing that the elections were unfair because they were not allowed to use proxy forms during the voting. In that election Smiling finished dead last, while Sharma–while elected–later resigned in protest. For their part, the C.F.Z.’s Chief Executive Officer, ministerial C.E.O. and Minster in Charge of Free Zones maintain that the elections were free and fair and held according to the law.

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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