Home Elections It is a battle of the Ages in the West

It is a battle of the Ages in the West

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Municipal elections are a little more than a week away and all political parties have been pulling out all the stops to ensure they are victorious on March 7.    Reporter Johnelle McKenzie had the opportunity to speak with the two candidates vying for the seat of Mayor in Benque Viejo del Carmen.

These days, speak with anyone in Benque Viejo Del Carmen and you will hear them discussing who will be the next Mayor of the town. Anticipation is in the air and so too is the excitement that is leading up to the Municipal Elections which takes place on March 7. The million dollar question is will things change or will things remain the same for Benque Viejo Del Carmen, which lies just before the border with Guatemala?  This town was once a PUP stronghold up until the year 2000 when it was won over by the UDP.  Over eighteen years of the UDP administration has accomplished very little for the Benquenoes, according to a number of residents spoken to, and the upcoming election is seemingly a tossup.   Love News spoke with both candidates about their chances of being elected as mayor, here is what 47-year-old Gerardo Marconi Sosa, the UDP mayoral candidate had to say

 

Gerardo Marconi Sosa – UDP Mayoral Candidate                                   

“I believe nothing can happen around a weak administrative structure. The first attempt at getting things back in order is to ensure that the pillars of administration are assessed properly , that proper attention is put in the delivery of service to our people and that we strengthen the relationship that exists between the local government and the central government in the benefit of Benquenos at large. In the first instance, it’s important to realize that we must strengthen the management of the human resource. We must strengthen the management of our finances and we must focus in strengthening the delivery of service to the people of Benque Viejo Del Carmen.”

Love news caught up with 22-year-old Cristian Castellanos, the PUP mayoral candidate, on the campaign trail.

Cristian Castellanos – PUP Mayoral Candidate

“I think there is a call for change and when new talk about change it’s not only about changing from one political party to the next, it will bring people who are able to work for the community, people who are able to work for the people.”

Johnelle McKenzie – Reporter

“So you’re young and so apparently you lack political experience. Your competitor has been a past mayor before what do you bring to the table that he may not have?”

Cristian Castellanos – PUP Mayoral Candidate

“Ok well you say that I don’t have the experience, exactly that is why people need to vote for me you know because so many times we have people with a lot of experience and they have done nothing for our town, nothing for their people and we see them getting rich, we see them getting in power and only doing it for their family, for their friends and our town remains the same. I think we need to bring a lot of changes. First of all we need to reform certain systems in our country. We are talking about one the financial system, two how we operate, three governance we need to bring and equitable system that works for everyone.”

There is a huge age difference between Castellanos being just a youth, and the experienced Sosa being about twice Castellanos’ age.   Can Sosa do it again, as he did in 2006, or will a youthful Castellanos emerge victorious? Talk about the battle of the ages!

Cristian Castellanos – PUP Mayoral Candidate

“You know being young does not disqualify me from being Mayor and the fact that we are in the position is not an excuse for us not to work. We’ve seen Orange Walk, Mayor Kevin Bernard, has been able to do a lot in Orange Walk despite the fact that he is not getting support from Central Government. Benque is bordered town, we have a lot of potentials, and we have a lot of talented people. We have to find new ways to bring progress to our town, at the end of the day it’s the willingness that works that counts and not whether you have the resources or not because resources we can get it, resources we can work for it but it takes a community to make that change. It takes a community to work together, to engage the community, to involve the community.”

Johnelle McKenzie – Reporter

“What edge do you have over your competitor that makes you the better candidate?”

Gerardo Marconi Sosa – UDP Mayoral Candidate

“As you can see on my shirt it says in Spanish” “It’s leadership that has been proven and its leadership that can be trusted. Benque Velljo Del Carmen may have experienced difficulty with challenging times for our young candidates over the past. At this time the people of Benque Viejo are prepared to trust someone’s whose leadership is proven and they are prepared to trust in the leadership that I offer. That is a significant advantage that I have over my opponent.”

Will the party that is elected work to make a significant difference in that town?

 

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