Hon. Penner Says He's Paying Half For 100 New Citizens 2


7NewsBelize
Wed, January 18, 2012

And working the process from the other end is the UDP’s Cayo Northeast Area Representative Elvin Penner. He’s one of the few elected representatives we saw working the ground today – although many UDP minister’s had their political operators working on the ground.

Indeed, many of them see this as the battleground that may determine the outcome of the next election.

Make no mistake; a large part of that crowd is the function of pure political muscle, machinery and money. Yes, money. It costs three hundred dollars for an adult to get his or her nationality and one hundred dollar per dependent after that.

And the advantage here goes to the UDP – who are using all available means to work – or as the case may be, overwork the system to get their people registered.


Fact is, that’s how elections are won, and Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin PEnner spoke candidly about the process today:..

Hon. Elvin Penner – UDP’s Cayo Northeast Area Representative

“I’ve been working almost a week, day and night, pretty much day and night. I hope I don’t fall down before Friday because Friday is the deadline for registration for the Town Board Elections, as you all know. So we have to make sure that we get all those who can register for the town board in by friday. So that’s going to be another rush on Friday to get everybody in on time. We have a lot of people in our area who have had residency for many years, and who have children up to 20+ years, born here in Belize, and who nobody took the time out to before to help them out with their nationality. A lot of these people, they don’t speak English well. They don’t know how to fill out the form, or the procedures. So they need somebody to take them through the process to make sure that they qualify, first of all, and we bring in the papers here. And once they are qualified here, they can then get their nationality.”

Marion Ali – Love News

“You’ve heard the allegation that all kinds of “hankie pankie” is going on, illegal registration and naturalization. What do you have to say to that?”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“Well, I’m sure that from my area, there is none that is going to go through without the complete proper procedure. We have taken out the police records for each every person who qualify. I have about 100+ applications home that I personally felt didn’t qualify. I didn’t even bring them. I’m going to deal with them later once they can assure me that they qualify, then I will bring them in after elections.”

Marion Ali – Love News

“How do you respond to the comment that this is a blatantly political exercise?”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“As a politician, we have to do everything possible to get our voters in, even if it’s on the last day. But, I just want to assure everybody that those who speculate that something is happening illegally, it will have to be taken up with the department because, like I said, I personally am making sure that I vet them before I bring them here. And they also vet them here a second time, to make sure that they are going in the proper way.”

Jules Vasquez

“How many new citizen voters will there be on the list for the 20th deadline in Cayo Northeast.”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“We don’t know that yet because we are still in the process of doing the interviews. Even at the interview point, they can be rejected.”

Jules Vasquez

“Projection.”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“Projection, close to a 100, around a hundred.”

Jules Vasquez

“Around a hundred, and you expect that how many of them will vote for Elvin Penner?”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“Well I believe that if I’m working day and night for them, and they are out here seeing it, I don’t think that they would turn their backs on me.”

Jules Vasquez

“It also has a cost for you. Each head is $300.”

Hon Elvin Penner

“I’m trying to work with them. I’ve always committed myself from day one when I got into politics, that anybody who applied for their nationality, and they qualified, I would pay half of the cost. So, I am telling them that now as well. I will pay half of the cost of nationality. Of course, we do the police record on our own, so there is a cost. But it’s of course, to fold; there is a political reason behind it. We want to get out voters in. I won’t deny that any at all. I would wish that every politician in the country would do that because this really proves that you are pushing and going the extra mile for you to win your division.”

Marion Ali – Love News

“But can you do that with Government Funds?”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“No.”

Marion Ali – Love News

“How are you doing it?”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“Everything I have to pay for, I’m digging myself into a hole, but I’m sure there will be some good Samaritan who will help me out.”

Jules Vasquez

“If you’re paying half for 100, that’s $15,000.”

Hon. Elvin Penner

“And that’s about what we had already spent in the paperwork because even those who didn’t qualify, we already did their medical reports because we weren’t sure if they qualify.”

Another UDP political operative we spoke to said they are paying all three hundred dollars for many of the 60 persons they carried to the Immigration office today.


The other side of that of course, is the PUP – who apart from missing out on the rush of new voters – is also calling it Instant citizenship.

——————————

UPDATE

What does our laws say about this?

BRIBERY – REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT

32.-(1) The following persons shall be deemed guilty of bribery within the meaning of this Act-

(a) every person who, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of that voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election;

(b) every person who directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives or procures, or agrees to give or procure or to endeavour to procure, any office, place, or employment to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of that voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce that voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of any voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election;

(c) every person who directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement as aforesaid to or for any person in order to induce that person to procure, or to endeavour to procure, the return of any person as an elected member of the House of Representatives or the vote of any voter at any election;

(d) every person who, upon or in consequence of any gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement, procures, or engages, promises or endeavours to persuade the return of any person as an elected member of the House of Representatives or the vote of any voter at any election;

(e) every person who advances or pays, or causes to be paid, any money to or for the use of any other person , with the intent that that money, or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery at any election, or who knowingly pays, or causes to be paid any money to any person, in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any election;

(f) every voter who, before or during any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees, or contracts for, any money, gift, loan or valuable consideration, office, place or employment, for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or  agreeing to refrain from voting at any election;

(g) every person who, after any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or any other person on his behalf, receives any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting or having induced any other person to vote or refrain from voting at any election.

(2) No person shall be guilty of bribery under subsection (1) who gives to any other person any article not exceeding twenty dollars in value.

Enhanced by Zemanta

About FiWeBelize

FiWeBelize is dedicated to providing quality information to our visitors. We aim to provide an open forum where people can have a voice without censorship while maintaining respect for the opinions of others. Find us on Google


Share your thoughts ...

2 thoughts on “Hon. Penner Says He's Paying Half For 100 New Citizens