A new political party was launched today at the Belize Institute of Management in Belize City. Reporter Hipolito Novelo was there and filed this report.
Paco Smith: On this day Thursday 1st October 2015 your Belize Progressive Party hence forth known as the BPP is officially unveiled.
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: The party’s color is green and like the letter R in what should have been the word Progressive printed on the t-shirts- the party is lacking some candidates. They have eleven but they need at least 16 to have a fighting chance in becoming the next government. They have candidates that have pledged to run in several constituencies across the country. These members are Edna Diaz who will run in Corozal South East, Lucilo Teck who will run in Corozal South West, Hector Palomo who will run in Corozal North, Roy Rodriguez who will run in Corozal Bay, Hipolito Bautista who will run in Orange Walk South, , Ion Butch Cacho who will run in Pickstock, Robert Lopez who will run in Belize Rural South, Andrew Williams who will run in Cayo South, Patrick Rogers who will run in Collet, Will Maheia who will run in Toledo East, and Charles Leslie Jr., who will run in Belmopan and. The leader of this Belize Progressive Party is Patrick Rogers. Rogers says he is a different kind of leader when compared to PUP Leader Francis Fonseca and UDP Leader, Dean Barrow.
Patrick Rogers, Leader, BPP: I am a political leader of a new Belizean consciousness that has each and every member sitting at this head table and in this front row that are candidates being capable, competent and have the testicular fortitude to be a national leader for this movement.
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News:The party’s campaign slogan is 8867 in reference to the 8867 square miles that constitute Belize as a country. All candidates pledged to serve the constituency they want to represent without fear or favor. They also pledged to disclose their income, assets and liabilities in accordance to the prevention and corruption act. The party’s name was registered today and they are still working on their constitution. The BPP will launch its progressive plans soon. But at the moment, the BPP’s priority is to hit the ground and meet the voters.
Patrick Rogers, Leader, BPP: We will win when enough Belizeans understand they need to invest some sweat equity in this new Belizean political consciousness. We will be going door to door, we won’t have any money to go into our pocket and say “here” that is not how we operate. You will not be taking ownership of this party if we are doing that, who would take ownership are the oligarchy that would have given us had we accepted the half a million dollars. Because when the oligarchy is donating they are willing to give half a million dollars but we had to explain that we are not about forming a liberal party here. We are about forming a labor movement so our ideology, our philosophy is based on labor. Five weeks is a lot of time, we are not intimidated with five weeks by no means. The problem is that although we have ideas that we are formulating into policies we do not put the cart before the horse. We were caught literally off-guard because we were at the point of bringing more independents on the board, some of them still wavering as of today. But I’m sure before the nomination day on the 16th we will have over twenty candidates presented.
Robert Lopez, Campaign Manager, BPP: The Belize Progressive Party will stop the “big boys” from taking money under the table because we will owe nobody any concession, no land, no tax free holiday. So I want to tell the people of this country money doesn’t vote, people do. Stop selling your votes.
Wil Maheia, Deputy Leader, BPP: Every Belizean it is your responsibility, you’ve always urged us saying the third parties need to get together well today we are together and I’m calling on each and every Belizean to step up to the plate come November 4th because you can make that difference. I don’t care how much backfills they will come with or how much promises they will come with ladies and gentlemen for 34 years, 17 years each of them had the opportunity to govern this country and we haven’t had the country we so rightfully deserve.
Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.