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Mar 31, 2014

P.U.P. revisits recall petition of Elvin Penner

Former U.D.P. Minister of State Elvin Penner was criminally charged in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court last week. Those charges were not brought by government nor by Police, but rather by a private entity, COLA. Penner is scheduled to reappear in court on May twenty-ninth, but in the meantime, he’s got additional worries. A recall petition, launched by the P.U.P. late in 2013, was unsuccessful after Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected three hundred and thirty-seven signatures. But now the petition is being revisited. That’s because today, attorney Lisa Shoman applied for leave to seek judicial review of Tamai’s decision, on various grounds.

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Attorney

“There are several grounds. For instance, a number of people were rejected because it was said that they were not on the voters’ list. We have in fact found people on the voters’ list who should not have been rejected. So that’s one ground. Another ground is that people were rejected because their signatures on the petition form did not match what was held in the binders at Elections & Boundaries…and there is actually nothing in the law that says the signatures must match what is in the Elections & Boundaries binder. In fact we have one applicant who was in a car accident, partially paralyzed and is only able to write with great difficulty, so it is clear that her signature could never be the same, and yet she was disenfranchised. And then there is the issue of people who signed duplicate and triplicate. There is nothing in the law which gives the power to the Chief Elections Officer to disenfranchise those people. The Elections & Boundaries Department has said that there cannot be two attempts to recall in one term of office. Does that particular clause affect this…? No. Because what happened is that the report was made to the GG that there were not sufficient signatures to trigger the recall. So this isn’t going to be a matter where there is going to be a re-petitioning. You can only go for one petition, according to the law in any particular legislative session. So we did do the one petition. What we find difficult and wrong in this instance is the decision made by the Chief Elections Officer to reject three hundred and thirty-seven signatures, so it is that decision that we are asking the court to revisit. And if the court rules that she must revisit that, the Chief Elections Officer will go back specifically to those three hundred and thirty-seven, look at them again, recount again and if there are sufficient for the petition to go forward and trigger a writ of referendum, that is what will happen…so it won’t be a starting again of the process.”


The application was filed by Shoman on behalf of P.U.P. Cayo Northeast political officer Orlando Habet and four other litigants. 

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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6 Responses for “P.U.P. revisits recall petition of Elvin Penner”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    This is the beauty of the law and lawyers. Dean Barrow knows that all he has to do is to drag this out till the good Lord returns. That is what being a lawyer is about, u bill by the hour. So, they have this down to a t. By the time, the court rules in a definitive manner for the PUP, Barrow’s term will have been up. This why parents, and listen up, u need to send your children to law school. It’s a win-win situation.

  2. Rod says:

    Seems t me this pm and gov already can’t govern this country and with them spending half the year in the states and the other half in court no wonder there are so many murders in this country unu belizeans Betta wake up you might be next or one of your family members march to the pm house drag him out of his bed and lock him up .

  3. Baby Face says:

    Where is MY party in all of this? It would be nice if VIP took some legal action
    at this very important NATIONAL MOMENT!!

  4. sickntired says:

    Belizeans need to wake up and demand that we stop selling we country like cheap rum. All the elections officer mi need do is collate the repeat names and give them one spot for the original name. Like public officers now feel the need to bend over backwards for corrupt politicians over we country.We got a bad image abroad and we need to clean up the country and build the economy the proper way.

  5. CEO says:

    All I have to say is “GOOD WORK”!

    I do not care which flag you wave Penner’s activities can in no way be good and should never be condoned by any civil person.

    I hope that PUP knows that when they get back in office they will be forced to move the GOB to a higher level.

  6. LDPassport says:

    Can’t wait to tell the passport program saga, from its’ humble, and well intended, beginnings. It started as a living room conversation in 1988 between four gringos in Citrus Heights, California, oh so many moons ago. It’s definitely been a “long and winding road”. I was one of the four. One of these days you’ll get a published account-for the history books. You all need to hear the truth for once.

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