General — 09 October 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Objections to voters on voting list in Caribbean Shores and Belize Rural North go to court

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Oct. 4, 2019– Representatives of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) squared off in the Chief Magistrate’s Court over voters who had transferred or had registered for voting at addresses where they reportedly do not reside.

The complainants had come from two constituencies, Belize Rural North and Caribbean Shores.

The Caribbean Shores transfers were heard first and the transfer of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Edward Broaster, from the Freetown constituency to Caribbean Shores was heard.

Appearing on behalf of Caribbean Shores was the complainant, Paul Ferguson, the PUP’s “ground commander,” for the constituency, who had objected to a number of transfers to Caribbean Shores.

Ferguson was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvester, while Broaster was represented by attorneys Aldo Salazar and Orson Elrington.

Ferguson told the court that he is Broaster’s relative and he presented evidence aimed at showing that Broaster lives in the Lake Independence area.

In the end, Ferguson was unable to convince the court that Broaster does not live at 1 Kelly Street, which is the address of Chon Saan Palace, a restaurant whose proprietor is Lee Mark Chan, the UDP standard bearer for Caribbean Shores.

Chief Magistrate Fraser ruled that Broaster should remain as a registered voter in Caribbean Shores.

After the hearing, Elrington told the media, “Paul Ferguson, who under oath said he is the ground commander of the PUP … they submitted that Broaster does not reside in Caribbean Shores.”

“He was basing his evidence on the fact that he goes to visit his sister, Paula Ferguson, every day, and sees Broaster, but he admitted under cross examination that his sister, Paula Ferguson, has resided in Lake I for the past twenty years uninterrupted. But guess what? Paula Ferguson is registered at his very same address in Caribbean Shores. Under oath, he says that he believes that Paula Ferguson can be registered there because it is her mother’s address; not because she resides there,” Elrington said, in reference to Paul Ferguson’s claims.

Ferguson told Amandala and 7News, “We know the process. It’s difficult to prove to the court that someone [doesn’t] live there when their landlord said that he lives there. But that’s not the point. The point is this. This is the Deputy ComPol of this country. And if he claims that he lives at #1 Kelly Street, that’s a shame. And the people of Caribbean Shores knows that he doesn’t live at #1 Kelly Street.”

It was pointed out to Ferguson by his opponents, who challenged his objection, that he  is making a big issue out of Broaster’s registration as a voter in a constituency in which he allegedly does not reside, but the fact is that his (Ferguson’s) sister is practicing basically what he’s complaining that Broaster is doing.

Ferguson replied, “That’s not so. That’s farfetched. Let me tell you something. My sister has never registered anywhere else before. My sister has always registered at #5 Tenth Street, Kings Park.”

The PUP standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency, Marconi Leal, was in court during the afternoon session, but after seeing the high threshold of proof that is needed to remove someone from the voters list, he decided to abandon the complaint regarding his objection to the presence of fifty-six individuals on the voters list in his constituency.

Leal decided, however to press on with the challenge to six voters in his constituency.

That complaint will be heard on October 15.

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