Chief Justice to Rule on Martin Galvez’s Election Petition Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00

Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize, will reveal his decision on Martin Galvez’s election petition against Honourable Mark King on Thursday, May 17. King defeated Galvez in every box in the 2012 General Election and Galvez decided since he can’t win by popular votes, he would try a thing in court. His attorneys, Lisa Shoman’s, submissions on his behalf were less than impressive and Attorney Denys Barrow had no choice but to move a no case submission. Both attorneys argued in court on Thursday, May 10.

Counsel for Galvez raised the issue of a contract between Brints Security Firm and the Government of Belize. Galvez says that there is proof that King is the owner of the security firm and as such he is disqualified from running for central government. Their case is based on a piece of legislation more than two hundred years old (1782) that says if someone holds any contract with government that person is disqualified from running for public office. However, Barrow clarified the misinterpretation of the law by pointing to more modern legislation. He pointed to a piece of legislation passed in England in 1931 which narrowed the types of contracts that disqualifies an individual from running for office. Barrow explained that contracts which disqualify an individual are those such as merchandizing contracts or contracts to lend money to government.  In an interview with members of the media, he pointed to a couple prominent politicians that held lease contracts with government implying that if the law should be interpreted the way Galvez’s attorneys are interpreting it then Belize’s last two Prime Ministers would have been disqualified from running for office.

Chief Justice Benjamin will deliver his decision on Thursday, May 17.