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Former UDP Representative Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez launches recall petition against successor in Port Loyola

Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2023. 8:02 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Four-time United Democratic Party (UDP) Port Loyola Area Representative, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, is leading a petition to recall his successor, the People’s United Party’s (PUP) Gilroy Usher.

At a press conference on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, Martinez claimed that over 900 constituents had reached out to him to express dissatisfaction with Usher’s performance, stating that they believe their Constituency is being neglected under his leadership.

Martinez is leveraging the Recall of Elected Representatives Act, which requires at least 30% of registered voters to sign a petition for recall. In the case of Port Loyola, which had 4,629 voters registered as of May 2023, Martinez will need 1,388 signatures but is aiming for 1,500.

Once the recall petition achieves the required support and 65% of voters choose to recall Usher, the people will then decide who will represent them next. The recalled representative cannot be re-elected in this scenario.

In a prepared statement, Usher defended his record as Area Representative, highlighting accomplishments like paved streets, the issuance of land to first-time land owners, the award of education grants, and provision of small business grants. He accused Martinez and the UDP of neglecting Port Loyola during their term, leading to high unemployment and poor living conditions.

Martinez, meanwhile, has promised to fight any move to dissolve the Port Loyola division in the upcoming re-districting exercise. He vowed to challenge such a move in court, asserting that no entity has the legal authority to break up a constituency that meets the requisite numbers.

The current situation in Port Loyola is closely watched by political observers, as the result could significantly affect the balance of power in Belize.

 

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