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PUP Files Court Motion Challenging Voter Registrations

PUP Files Court Motion Challenging Voter Registrations
October 04
13:49 2019

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019,
The People’s United Party (PUP), led by its Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa, filed a motion in the Court on Monday, challenging a number of voter registrations in the Belize District.

PUP Leader John Briceño said this week that his party needed to point out at this time that “the Government is controlling the Elections and Boundaries Commission, despite the fact that legally they shouldn’t. They are the ones where you see some gross abuses of these padded houses with 20, 40, 50 people. There have been cases where there is just a house lot. There is not even a house and they are registering people there. The Elections and Boundaries office allows it to happen, knowing full well that it is illegal what these people are doing.” He said that if the PUP should win the next general elections, it will strengthen the law to eliminate the possibility of phantom voters.

Musa, meanwhile, zeroed in on the case which made the news last week when Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster admitted that he was living and registered at the #1 Kelly Street address of UDP Caribbean Shores Standard Bearer and Chinese businessman, Lee Mark Chang. Musa said that Broaster has to determine which of three locations he resides.

The PUP’s Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat, also weighed in on the matter, describing the system as “flawed” and pointing out that the protocol which election officers ascribe to – that of simply visiting a residence and asking if someone by a particular name lives there is not enough and that the law needs to be strengthened to discourage voter fraud.

The PUP’s Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Marconi Leal, raised a separate concern which he says could affect the outcome of the elections if it goes unaddressed. He is asking the Court to look at “illegal transfers.” Leal is challenging 71 persons who he says he knows for a fact are not living at the address where they are registered to vote in that division.

But when asked to respond to an allegation of a similar nature at the family home of PUP City Councilor, Deltrude Hylton, she explained that the situation is as different as night and day. Councilor Hylton explained that her Kelly Street family residence includes a six-apartment complex and other buildings which have about 40 people, including children actually living there.

Hylton explained, on the other hand, that when she worked in the Queen’s Square area for the 2015 elections, she noticed that there were people registered at addresses where there were overgrown lots, clearly abandoned for years.

The Court matter will be dealt with on Friday, October 4th.

The current number of registered voters stands at 153,459 with females outnumbering the males by almost 8,000. There are 80,528 females registered, compared to the 72,931 registered male voters.

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