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Estevan Perera new Chairman of Elections & Boundaries Commission #543568
07/17/20 11:17 AM
07/17/20 11:17 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,422
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

This morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Estevan Perera was sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission by the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young.

Estevan Perera is an Attorney-at-Law. He received a bachelorís degree in Law from the University of West Indies in Jamaica and a certificate in Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago. He also earned his degree in Criminology from St. Maryís University in Canada.

Perera is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia in Belize. He has also served on various boards including the Social Security Board, Belize Water Services and the Belize Liquor License Board.

Mr. Perera was joined by his family and his law partner, Senator Payal Ghanwani.

Re: Estevan Perera new Chairman of Elections & Boundaries Commission [Re: Marty] #543575
07/18/20 04:28 AM
07/18/20 04:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,422
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Steve Sworn In

Attorney Estevan "Steve" Perrera is now the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. He was officially sworn in today at the Belize House in Belmopan, by Governor-General, Sir Colville Young.

He was joined at the ceremony by his family and his law partner, Senator Payal Ghanwani, who supported his appointment at Wednesday's Senate Meeting.

And while Perrera's ascension could have been foretold, during the Senate's confirmation of his appointment on Wednesday, several concerns were raised about whether or not he would be able to sufficiently distance himself from the ruling UDP. The Barrow administration has already installed him on several politically appointed posts as its representative.

So, to assure the public that he will act with independence and integrity in this high office, he hosted a press conference this afternoon at his law office in Belize City. Here's the conversation he had with the media today:

"Explain to us your thoughts on the fact that there is concern that you wouldn't be able to function independently."

Estevan Perrera - Chairman, Elections and Boundaries Commission
"I believe that the persons who raised those concerns, before they raised them, they recognized - and I'm sure you looked at it - every person who spoke, and spoke about the fact of whether or not they knew me, they did not say anything negative about my integrity, and they did never say anything negative about whether or not I can be impartial. For whatever reasons, they chose to take the direction that they did, however, the majority of the Senate members did acknowledge my ability to be independent. In regards to your question, as to the appointments that I previously held. Now, I've only been back as an attorney for the past 11 years. So, any appointment possibly could have only been during this administration. Before, when the other political party was in power, I was in school. So, I would not have been able to hold any post or position or directorship during that time."

"There is a flaw in the suggestion that they have made. Every person in this country, every individual who's about 16, had voted at some point in time."

"That fact that you at one point voted, supported, or assisted a political party should not be grounds for which you as a Belizean cannot be appointed to a particular position."

"What is important is that at the time of being appointed, you've become, and you show the impartiality, and you hold yourself to a certain level, and your integrity becomes paramount."

"Can we get an assurance from you that at this time that there won't be a situation in the future, where you're still chairman of this Commission, and an accusation can be levied at you that may be a decision that you made benefits one party or the other?"

Estevan Perrera
"I can assure the Belizean public that that won't happen. Again, for everyone that knows me, my integrity is of utmost importance. I am a businessman in Belize. I'm an attorney as well. And so, I would not jeopardize the level of my integrity to sway one way or the other or to make a mistake or a decision such as what you're saying. It is important that I hold myself steadfast."

The new chairman says he has several priorities for when Belizeans go to the polls. The first is that there is a high voter turn out. Secondly, the Chairman wants to ensure that there are health and safety protocols in place at the polling areas to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. And finally, the chairman wants to ensure that the Commission and the Elections and Boundaries Department is properly equipped.

Estevan Perrera - Chairman, Elections and Boundaries Commission
"The task before us is very important. As the chairman, we have to ensure that the upcoming election, that everyone feels safe. The immediate focus that I have is to ensure that every Belizean has a safe feeling going into the elections, where they feel comfortable going to the polls, and casting their votes without fear of what can result as a result of the pandemic that's before us, the COVID-19 situation. And I think that's important. We also have to ensure that no Belizean is disenfranchised so that all persons have the opportunity to vote. Those are the major focus [areas], and as I result, I have started to do the necessary research to ensure that we are well-planned in going forward, as we approach the election time. In an attempt to speed up that process, what I have started to do is to look at the other countries. I've been investigating the efforts that are being taken in Trinidad and Tobago. They actually have their elections next month, and they too find themselves in an election year during the COVID pandemic. They have been very proactive with it, and planning, and as such, I'm going over what they're currently doing, to give me a head-start, so that I too could plan, as soon as possible. I also - as soon as I was sworn in, I made some calls to the Department to see if I can call a meeting as soon as possible. Hopefully, I could have a meeting as soon as next week, with the rest of the members, so that I could be brought up to speed as to what they have been doing, what remains to be done, what is outstanding, and if they have started anything that requires completion."

Elections have been held in at least three Caribbean nations during this COVID outbreak.

Channel 7

Re: Estevan Perera new Chairman of Elections & Boundaries Commission [Re: Marty] #543592
07/18/20 08:01 AM
07/18/20 08:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,465
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
Judyann H.  Offline
We support this appointment 100%... Congratulations Steve!

My friends call me Judyann

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