BELIZE-Supreme Court throws out application to halt opposition party convention


Attorney Arthur Saldivar has expressed disappointment after Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel late Friday dismissed his application for an emergency injunction to halt Sunday’s convention of the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP).

“I will not be on the ticket for the convention of the People’s United Party in Belmopan. No I will not be and sadly not only for me but for my supporters who are PUP members. This is about them and I go back to consult with them to determine what I do further,” Saldivar told reporters after the judge ruled following a four hour hearing.

Arthur Saldivar, spekaingto reporters after the court ruling.

Justice Abel also dismissed Saldivar’s substantial claim and all reliefs that he was seeking.  The application to contest the Belmopan convention was first rejected by the party, prompting Saldivar to file an application for an injunction to stop the convention which was originally scheduled for July 1.

But that application was withdrawn after the PUP decided to postpone the convention and allow Saldivar to re-apply. He did so and his application was again rejected by the party’s Vetting Committee.

But the attorney was able to obtain a default judgment after the substantial matter for the original lawsuit was said to be still alive.

Saldivar filed a second lawsuit and on Wednesday, after meeting with the PUP National Executive, after he failed to convince its members that he is fit to contest the convention.

But during the four hour hearing, in which Saldivar asked the Supreme Court to make several declarations with respect to alleged bias on behalf of the vetting committee, his attorney Christoff Rodriguez of Trinidad and Tobago, failed to convince the Court that his client’s rights were breached due to bias and unfairness.

“We cannot win them all in terms of getting a decision in our favour. In this particular regard, what must be borne in mind that there are a couple of issues that prevented the outcome that I would have liked to have had,” Saldivar said.

“The first being, given the time frame and the fact that one of the main parties of the action could not have been served the whole issue of bias was not addressed. The court could not bring itself to address actual or apparent bias which was the main basis of my application.

“So in that particular regard given what transpired because again we were up against it with time, the decision was taken to advance both issues together that being the injunction and the claim. This is where the cookie crumbled. We had the previous case which ended in default judgment.”

Saldivar said that the view of his attorneys was that “there was a requirement that there was a new claim as oppose to attaching this application to the old one”.

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