At Thursday’s press conference in Belize City, the People’s United Party tried to make its case for why it should receive a second chance with the Elvin Penner recall petition. A key part of that case is that the Elections and Boundaries Department irrationally and unreasonably disenfranchised voters in the division in support of the Government and the disgraced Elvin Penner. PUP Secretary General and former Chief Elections Officer Myrtle Palacio discusses the case of a senior police officer who signed the petition – and may be targeted for it.
“I don’t like to call names because I understand people are being threatened and this is serious and the media need to be aware of this there is even a senior police officer who signed it, registered in Cayo Northeast, he is one of the 52 probably he is going to lose his job now for excercising his right. He is Alvan Gentle Jr. of Esperanza. At least he is registered in Esperanza.In relation to that case”.
The Elections and Boundaries Office today released a photographic explanation as to why Gentle’s participation was rejected. It turns out that there are two Alvin Gentles. You’ll notice in the photo that one is Alvan Arthur Gentle and Alvan Gentle Jr. The attached I.D numbers , as well as the phone numbers and signatures are different. On the Master Rejected sheet, it is noted that Alvan Gentle Jr. is not registered, while the Matser Accepted Sheet shows that Alvan Arthur Gentle is. And so it appears that one of the Gentle’s was accepted, that is the one who is the registered voter. But back to the PUP’s Press Conference, deputy leader and Cayo South area representative Julius Espat, a key leader of the recall initiative, spoke of individuals present at the Independence Hall rally who, he says, were robbed of their right to speak out against their disgraced area rep.
“There is another name George Miguel Manzanero. He is here with us. He is not supposedly not registered in the list. He is registered, and here to prove it, we have prove it on the electoral list. Then we have approved duplicates. These are duplicates that were approved. But yet, they magically took out the number 79. I know lotta unuh play boledo and a between 1 to 100 if you win one number, but what is the probability 500 -850 registered voters that…I have it here; 52 signatures that his did not match, 52 not registered in Cayo northeast, 52 not registered at all”.
And petitioners such as those described by the party, said Cayo Northeast Standard Bearer Orlando “Landy” Habet, were told in no uncertain terms what their fate would be if they put their names to the petition.
“The threat continued. As Mr. Espat mentioned, they were threatening to take away their land; the UDPs who were signing, were threatened that heir lands were going to be taken or not signed at all. As a matter of fact, some people called us and told us when we were visiting two weeks ago during the Christmas vacations that some of them who are UDPs did not get their Christmas give-aways and goodies because they were told, “you signed the petition; you were told not to sign; and that’s why they did not get their $18.20 of package for Christmas”.