PUP claiming false victories Print E-mail
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Friday, 12 April 2019 00:00

For the last SIXTEEN (16) YEARS, ever since it last tasted victory in March 2003, the People’s United Party has been hungry for a victory of any kind. It appears that they are so desperate for a win, that they would even try to manufacture one to fill that Grand Canyon of a void they have. Last Wednesday was their first opportunity to manufacture their first victory. That opportunity came by way of an injunction they had sought and got from the Supreme Court. Upon getting out of court, they immediately claimed that they had won this enormous victory.

Unfortunately for them, we must disabuse them of the notion of them having a victory. Not only did the PUP not win anything last Wednesday, they actually suffered a loss, because there were two things the PUP had asked the court. The first was a declaration that the Government did not have the relevant authority to sign the Special Agreement (Compromis), which sets out the process for Belize to go to the ICJ in an effort to settle the UNFOUNDED GUATEMALAN CLAIM. Their second issue before the court was to ask the court to declare the writ of referendum void, because according to them, the Government used the wrong section of the law to execute the writ.

On the first issue, the PUP lost when the court declared that the 2008 Special Agreement is valid because it was properly executed. On the second issue, the Chief Justice agreed that a technical point, as to the validity of the writ of referendum, was a serious issue that should be tried and, therefore, he granted an interim injunction. On that second point is where the PUP is trying to claim victory, but we don’t see how they can claim that as a victory, because the matter as to the legality of the writ is still yet to go to full trial. To us, it is like a person claiming that they won boledo just by buying the boledo ticket and not waiting for the draw.

The PUP is also trying to claim a victory for what transpired in the Appeal Court on Monday of this week. After the Supreme Court granted the injunction last week, the Government made the decision to apply to the Appeal Court to have the injunction set aside in order that the referendum could proceed on Wednesday of this week, but there was a question of whether the court had the power to hear such a matter based on the timing that it came to the court. After both sides presented their argument the court ruled that it could not legally hear the matter, because under Section 17 of the Belize Appeals Court Act, matters cannot be heard until 21 days expires after the respondents are given notice. With that the matter of the injunction was not heard so like in the lower court no victory was won.