Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021. 1:14 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Governor-General Sir Colville Young has officially dropped the writ for a by-election in the Corozal Bay constituency, to be held on March 3, 2021, the same day as municipal elections there and nationwide.
In information released by the Election and Boundaries Department, this morning, the Governor-General gave his go-ahead for a by-election under Section 85 of the Constitution and in accordance with his powers under Section 19 of the Representation of the People Act, directing the returning officer to take nominations at the Corozal Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday, February 15, and, if there is more than one person nominated as expected, to conduct the election on Wednesday, March 3.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission has named Teresita Miranda, Assistant Accountant General at the Treasury Department, Belize City, as returning officer. She will be assisted by an election clerk nominated by the Elections and Boundaries Department, Velma Godoy, Principal Education Officer, Education Department, Corozal District.
The by-election is the fifth in Belize’s history, second following the death of a sitting area representative, and third in the last five years.
Incumbent David “Dido” Vega defeated sitting representative Pablo Marin in elections on November 11, but contracted COVID-19 and died the the morning he was to have officially been sworn in, December 11, in Belmopan. The PUP has not officially selected a candidate but sister Elvia Vega Samos has the support of the constituency committee. The UDP has named former Town Mayor Hilberto Campos as its candidate and there is at least one independent candidate in the running.
The election is not expected to affect the balance of support in the House of Representatives, which is overwhelmingly in the PUP’s favor, 25-5. However, the party will wish to avoid egg on its face by continuing the unusual trend of incumbent parties losing by-elections to their rivals, which has happened on the four previous occasions seats have been contested in a by-election: Freetown in 1992, Cayo South in 2003, and Cayo North and Dangriga in 2015, the last three of which were won by the UDP from the PUP.
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