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Belmopan City Council tangles with Department of Local Government over appointment of acting mayor

Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2023. 8:05 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While Belmopan Mayor Sharon Palacio and the City Administrator are out attending the Local Climate Action Summit held as part of the COP28 conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this week, there is a dispute over who is holding over at City Hall.

Mayor Palacio wrote the Ministry and Minister Oscar Requeña stating that Councilor Hope Amadi would act as mayor as “the term of our deputy ended in October and an election will occur at our next council meeting on December 12, 2023.” Dr Ludwig Palacio, the Mayor’s brother, would hold over as city administrator.

But the DLG responded today to say publicly that the Mayor has no power to appoint an acting mayor under the Belmopan City Council Act and that Sanie Cal is duly elected as Deputy until the scheduled election, and thus entitled to hold over for the duration of the Mayor’s absence from November 30 to December 6. “Any purported appointment of any councilor outside of the provisions of the Belmopan City Council Act is null and void. Accordingly, the department has duly notified Mayor Sheran Palacio and acting City Administrator Dr. Ludwig Palacio,” the public release noted.

This evening Mayor Palacio, who is not running for re-election after publicly falling out with the People’s United Party, told Channel 7 News that she found “(the Department’s) release to be most disrespectful” and would have further comment later on. As for Amadi, he said he was installed in the Mayor’s office and would respond only to her dictates and that he “isn’t going anywhere” without her say-so.

 

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