The Peoples United Party (PUP) received a major blow as they lost the last hope of changing the political landscape on Ambergris Caye. However, there is bound to be a celebration by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his six councilors after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin dismissed the PUP’s request that the elections be declared void. In March 2018, the United Democratic Party (UDP) Town Council won the San Pedro Town municipal election by less than one hundred votes. With such a close margin the PUP could not concede defeat and cried foul as it appeared there were discrepancies in the amounts of votes reconciled and the method of the circumstances the ballots were recounted. But like every evening on the island, the sun must set and it certainly sank the PUP’s dreams. Today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in his judgment admitted that errors were made; however, it was not sufficient to declare the elections void. Steven Perrera, the UDP’s attorney spoke to the media about the victory for his clients.
Steven Perrera, UDP Attorney: In our laws that it is expected that there are going to be certain errors and minor miscalculations on the election day it is expected and understood. The act actually provides for that and it states that only if those minor errors are substantial and they would effect the ultimate outcome of the elections would a court set it aside and the persons who drafted the act were very clever because they expected the fact that there would be errors and so those minor errors that they brought about as we maintain from the start were so minor that it did not affect the ultimate results of the elections. The votes were as they are, the numbers remain as they are, there was nothing untoward that would have suggested or affected the number of votes that each one of the candidates received and because of that the court made this judgment so it defined that section of the act and its stating that the minor errors, which we pointed out, were not sufficient in this case to put aside the election. The calculations in this case wasn’t in respect to numbers not adding up what had happened in this case is they knew the total number of votes made and they knew the number of votes that were counted, when they looked at the numbers by simply using deductions they were able to ascertain the other numbers that needed be filled in and where the errors were. It wasn’t a case where they were missing voters, if that were the case then the court could have had the opportunity or would have ruled otherwise but in this case it wasn’t a situation where votes were missing when the numbers were added.”
San Pedro’s, Daniel Guerrero indicated he knew from day one that his victory was not in doubt.
Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro: “From day one we knew that the people’s wish was to elect a UDP town council and it has just been proven today that it was a very valid election and here we are it’s a second win for the United Democratic Party so we have defeated the People’s United Party twice and I also must apologize for the PUP bringing the Public Officers to the court actually throwing them under the bus. I think they did an excellent job the public officers but yet we still proved them on a democracy and a system that works and the supreme court ruled in our favor so.”
PUP Mayoral Candidate Andre Perez said he does not regret bringing the matter to court.