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Anthony “Boots” Martinez to court over recall petition

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2024. 1:18 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Former Port Loyola Area Representative Anthony “Boots” Martinez is challenging the decision of the Elections and Boundaries Department to disallow the recall petition against Gilroy Usher Sr.

Some 188 names on the petition were deemed not to have signatures matching those on file with the Department, which means their status as voters in Port Loyola is questionable.

Martinez wants further verification of the signatures and on Monday he was at the High Court to finalize his application submission.

Martinez reiterated to reporters that he personally witnessed 172 of the 188 mismatched signatures and 158 of these persons have declared to a Justice of the Peace that they signed the petition in good faith. He has already conceded that the signatures of double signers as well as those who transferred out of the division after signing should and will not count.

He contends that the EBC did not fully do its job as required by the Recall Act: “How you wah verify petition, in my view the law talks about duly verifying a petition and it falls in the Chief Elections Officer’s hands and their team because they have the capability. They are the people who go, and check people’s addresses and they know there is nothing in the law that says there is one stop way of verifying. The people have phone numbers, an address you cannot even call and whatever the case may be. I have a fundamental problem with it. That cannot be the be it and end it all for the elections and boundaries because the court must have remedy to them kind of thing deh.”

Martinez, represented by Senior Counsel and former Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Richard “Dickie” Bradley, says they hope to get the matter resolved by November as recall petitions cannot be dealt with within 18 months after or 12 months before a forthcoming general election, which is due by November 2025.

And while Martinez insists this action is on behalf of those complaining about Usher’s poor service to constituents, would he run in the election to follow if Usher is recalled?

Martinez was not unequivocal, saying he would listen to his former constituents although he insisted he doesn’t mind retirement: “It is not what I want. I am a creature of instruction, the longest serving member of Port Loyola, four terms, consecutive. From since Port Loyola was created I am the longest serving member in the National Assembly there. So for me it has to be the wishes of the people. Like what I said last week, into retirement now, economically it is better for me. A representative makes only three thousand a month. My pension alone from government is more than that plus I get pension from Social Security. But like I said, all of that is not possible without the people.”

 

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