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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Francis Fonseca

The prime minister announced at a press conference that he will take the oath on Friday for his new term in government, but the People's United Party says it's not conceding the elections. According to P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca, the elections were neither free nor fair and that the electoral process was tainted with irregularities.

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Party Leader

"As we meet this afternoon, I would have hoped to report to you, regardless of the outcome that on March seventh Belize had free and fair elections; regrettably, this has not been the case. Across the country there have been credible, reliable, documented reports of abuse and illegality in the conduct of our election process. Our party has assembled a team of legal advisors, who are examining the documented evidence and reviewing the legal options available. I can report to the nation that it is the intention of the People's United Party to file several election petitions in respect of the March seventh General Elections. Through-out the election campaign, I made it absolutely clear that the P.U.P. would engage in a vigorous campaign but would always respect the final decision of the Belizean people. That respect is premised on free and fair elections and on the obligation and duty to ensure that the will of the Belizean people is not thwarted or denied. As I speak, I am yet to receive an official report on the election results from the elections and boundaries commission; despite this, it is my understanding that the U.D.P. leader, Mr. Barrow is announcing plans to form a government. In an election where unofficial results show that there is a thirty vote separation between the two major political parties in determining which party forms the government, all of our statements, actions and decisions must be grounded in respect and humility."

Shoman says that those are just some of the concerns arising from their electoral petitions, but that list is by no means a full disclosure of the discrepancies that took place on March seventh. Shoman also said that the possibility for other electoral petitions may be brought to light.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,393
Marty Offline OP
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Chief Elections Officer Explains Why There Was No Recount

The elections are done; the Prime Minister has been sworn in, and a new Cabinet will be named by next week Tuesday afternoon.

But the PUP has still not conceded - and it says it will wait on the outcome of multiple election petitions.

Informed observers agree that there's not a great chance of success for that - and that, at best, it's a measure calculated to set the tone for a militant, unyielding five years in opposition.

But, many Belizeans are asking, why didn't they get the recounts in Cayo Northeast and Cayo central. Northeast was decided by 17 votes and Central by 44.

That's a difference of less than a percentage point in both areas - and within the margin or rejected ballots.

Today, in her first interview after the elections the Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai explained why the returning officers decided against a recount.

Josephine Tamai - Chief Elections Officers
"Those Returning Officers explained, and both of them had similar explanations even though they were received separately. What happened, according to the Returning Officers, is that - well we have a process that we use, a document called the statement of the poll, that they have to fill in after they count each and every single boxes. And they are saying that for those boxes, while they were counting each and every single box. All parties agree to the number of votes cast for each one of the candidate. And those documents were already signed off because it was very clear to everybody that the boxes from A to B, this candidate got so many votes. So they were saying that until the final box, they agreed that, yes, that is the number in that box, but while tallying, it was then that they realize that one is by 17, and the other by 44. So it was then that they requested a recount, and both returning officers found no reason at all to grant a recount, because at the end of the day, everything had been agree upon from each and every step of the process. So that was their explanation as to why they really and truly didn't believe that a recount was necessary."

Jules Vasquez
"The counting agents signed of on every box, therefore, you are saying, certifying the count that was conducted for that box. So it was certified by agents at every stage, and therefore, in the opinion of the Returning Officers, that validated and certified the result."

Josephine Tamai
"Yes, right."

Jules Vasquez
"Now, what, strictly speaking is the rule for requesting and being given a recount? Under what circumstances, and what discretion can be exercised?"

Josephine Tamai
"Well, that would be up to the Returning Officer. As the Returning Officer, that person can grant recounts - up to as many as he or she believes is reasonable."

Jules Vasquez
"But is it at all times a discretionary call? Is a candidate entitled at all times to a recount?"

Josephine Tamai
"Well, they are not entitled at all times. It is discretionary, and it's up to the Returning Officer."

Jules Vasquez
"Are the boxes that they wish to recount still available, and are they suitably locked?"

Josephine Tamai
"They are still available, and they are very secure. We have secured them."

Tamai also discussed the official results.

You heard the leader of the opposition complain that he still hadn't seen them. The Chief says the double election has slowed the process.

Josephine Tamai
"Again, we need to remember that yes, it's two elections. The staff is very limited. We continue to work throughout the night, even yesterday and today because we want to complete it, so that you can have everything official at least by tomorrow, because our work continues."

Jules Vasquez
"When is it official? What makes it official? I thought that when it was posted on the web site that would be official."

Josephine Tamai
"Well, actually, those are preliminary results."

Jules Vasquez
"So then, what makes it official, and when?"

Josephine Tamai
"When we receive all the forms - all the statement of poll forms from the returning officers - and we have checked it very thoroughly, then we make it official. We'll remove preliminary results, and make it official."

Jules Vasquez
"And that will be done tomorrow?"

Josephine Tamai
"That will be done maybe tonight, but I could safely say that by tomorrow morning, we should have completed all that."

Jules Vasquez
"The Prime Minister was sworn in this morning. Can you say officially that there is a winner of the 2012 General Elections?"

Josephine Tamai
"Yes, I would say that officially, there is. Like I said, it's just fine-tuning all the little details. We need to ensure that we post the figures by boxes because most people are interested in who won what box. It's not only an overall figure, so all those little things are being checked, and we will even go further to post that information on our website."

Presently, the results posted on the elections and boundaries website are still considered provisional.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,393
Marty Offline OP
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The Wrath Of the Aftermath

But looking at those results, it's interesting to note what statisticians would call the outliers - those who did extremely well or exceptionally poorly. For the winning UDP, Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan had the best showing; he increased his margin of victory since 2008 - and garnered an impressive 81.6% of the vote.

Party Leader Dean Barrow followed closely behind in Queen Square, also increasing his margin to 78%.

The UDP had the biggest swing against it in Toledo West - losing 23% of the support it has in 2008 - with Juan Coy going from 60% of the vote in 2008 down to 36.6%.

The PUP had its most comfortable margin of victory in Cayo South where Julius Espat got 65% of the vote.

The Port Loyola Area for the UDP also bears watching where the UDP candidate Anthony Martinez experienced a 12% swing against him - going from 74% to a still very dominant 62.2%.

A look at this graph, shows the election trend for the number of registered, voters, the number of ballots cast and the number who voted for the PUP and the UDP.

You'll see that in the 2012 - the red and the blue are the closest they have been in the last four elections.

Channel 7

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