GG rejects PUP’s petition of Penner’s recall – not enough valid signatures

The People’s United Party is in the process of discussing their next move, after the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, Sr., rejected several of the signatures on their petition for the recall of incumbent, area representative,Elvin Penner in Cayo North East.
Late last year, the PUP’s Cayo Northeast standard bearer, Orlando Habet, launched an all-out campaign to oust his political opponent on grounds that he had violated the terms of his office for his alleged involvement in the visa and passport scam.
On December 30th, according to PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, the party received the response from the Governor General, which was grounded on findings of a study conducted by the Election and Boundaries Department, headed by Josephine Tamai.
The Department found that of the 2002 forms submitted, which were 258 more than the 1744 required to trigger the recall, some 337 of them were invalid.
The Department found that only 1665 signatures were legitimate and that meant that Habet and the PUP were short by 79 signatures in failing to meet the required amount for the recall.
The Election and Boundaries Department, in a letter forwarded to the PUP and relevant parties, stated that the rejections were based on things like duplicate signatures on the forms, signatures by people not registered in the Cayo North East division or not registered voters at all.
They also found that some signatures did not match those in the Election and Boundaries system; that some of the forms submitted did not include any signatures.
PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, has said publicly that the findings were “an absolute UDP political manipulation of the Election and Boundaries Department.”
Fonseca said that he felt that the UDP Government exerted political influence on the system to frustrate the process of recall, similarly to what happened with the OCEANA effort to effect a referendum three years ago on offshore oil exploration.
Fonseca added that the Department could not have found so many faulty signatures because the PUP carried out multiple layers of vetting .The decision taken is an attempt by the Government to protect Penner in Cayo Northeast, Fonseca said.
Fonseca advised that by next week, his party will reveal its next move after it has had a chance toconsult with the party’s legal advisors.

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