Supreme Court officially declares current San Pedro Town Council 2018 Municipal Elections winners

Friday, July 20th, 2018

After several court hearings at Supreme Court in Belize City regarding the controversial results of the 2018 San Pedro Town Municipal Elections, the United Democratic Party (UDP) was declared victorious over the People’s United Party (PUP) on Friday, July 20th.

At the March 2018 municipal elections, current UDP Mayor Daniel Guerrero received 2,667 votes, while PUP mayoral candidate Andre Perez tallied 2,629, giving Guerrero a slim victory margin of 38 votes. However, soon after, the results were contested, with the PUP alleging multiple irregularities in the counting and reconciling of the ballots and claiming that over 200 ballots were unaccounted for. The San Pedro UDP refuted the allegation, and after Perez and his team sought legal advice they filed the case at the Supreme Court, a first in the history of Belizean politics.

At the time, the PUP Senator and Attorney-at-law Eamon Courtenay, representing the PUP stated that returning officer Catherine Cumberbatch, along with Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai and Presiding Officer Desiree Flowers, admitted that errors were made during the reconciliation of ballots. Courtenay states that Flowers said that she wrote down 379 as the number of ballots used, instead of 359, an error not witnessed by PUP scrutinee Alex Noralez before he signed off on the document. Flowers could not explain the reason for the mistake. ”This case is not about mathematics, it’s about the politics and the votes,” said Courtenay. “They should be in a secure place whatever she finds to be a secure place. The issue is that they are not to be opened; she opened them and counted them and did other things with them and that is absolutely prohibited by the regulations.” Courtenay further stated that ballots from labeled C-A which was considered the most important piece of evidence for the case. As 675 electors cast their vote in that box, and when it was time to reconcile the officers wrote 400 on the form.

The San Pedro Sun will have more information of the results of this case when it makes itself available.

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