By Benjamin Flowers
Two candidates for the upcoming General Elections have been cited by local media for having Guatemalan nationality.
Ralph Huang, member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) for the Cayo South division, and Dr. Lesbia Guerra Cocom, People’s United Party (PUP) member for Cayo West, denied the allegations on Wednesday at the launch of their parties’ manifestos.
Huang outrightly denied the allegations, even when shown a picture of what appeared to be an authentic document, alluding to his Guatemalan nationality.
He went further to deny the validity of the image, and said that he knows that his political opponents would do anything to tarnish his reputation so close to election.
Cocom, in contrast denied any allegiance to Guatemala; however, she would not comment on the validity of any document which indicated the contrary.
She maintained that any such defense of her character would have to be in court, and she welcome anyone willing to make a challenge there.
If the documents are proven to be authentic, both person will need to relinquish their candidacy because of a legal requirement.
Section 58 of the Constitution of Belize states plainly that “No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives who “is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or State.”