General Elections were held in the thirty one divisions around the country with the polls being opened at 7am on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. For the first time in Belize’s electoral history there were ninety candidates contesting the 31 seats. In the end, when all votes were cast and ballots counted, the United Democratic Party retained their powers in Belmopan as the ruling party. Just over twelve hours later, after confirming a win for the UDP, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, where he addressed a small gathering and members of the media. Barrow touched on several issues but began his presentation with gratitude to his family and supporters.
“I want to begin by sincerely thanking the people of Belize for re-electing the United Democratic Party. I want to thank all the candidates of the United Democratic Party. I congratulate them all, of course the large share of the congratulations are due to our successful candidates especially returning ministers. The entire party was under assault, we were combating what we were told was voter fatigue. We were going against the conventional wisdom, we were going against history in trying to win a third consecutive term so we were all under attack. The assault was perhaps more relentless in the case of Sedi Elrington and I am particularly glad that he prevailed. I of course need to thank my family, my wife, my children and the great Sista B.”
While Barrow has nineteen reasons to rejoice as the re-elected Prime Minister, he is also celebrating his 8th consecutive election as the Area Representative for the Queen Square Division. He went on to acknowledge his supporters and family who help him in winning his division.
“You know, I know and certainly the people of Queen Square know that I didn’t win the election, I didn’t win the last election in Queen Square, Sister Barrow did that. It’s not anything to be proud of or boast about but I did not visit a single home, did not get in touch with a single voter. I knew that they understood my personal position and circumstances and they had Sister B and they knew that when they had Sister B it was just like they had me. In fact, it was better than if they had me because nothing is wrong with her back and she’s four years younger but she behaves like she is twenty years younger than I am but I owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. Of course my wife has been there by my side, and I was scolded at the time of the opening of the new Neo-natal Pediatric Intensive Care unit. Somebody said that I made it seem as though Kim is merely a sort of appendage or an asset to my career when in fact she has racked up these phenomenal accomplishments in her own right. I guess what I was trying to say is that sometimes I feel that I am the appendage to her career and she doesn’t get paid. My sons are here, my bigger daughter is also in country and in fact counted in Queen Square. My younger daughter is in school but we’re gonna take her out so she can come to Belmopan for the swearing in which will take place this afternoon. So a great big thank you to all of them.”
The gratitude for Dean Barrow did not end there as he also extended greetings to the opposition, the People’s United Party while expressing thanks for the smooth flowing elections.
“I want to also congratulate the candidates of the People’s United Party. We once more had an election that was in the main peaceful, that again showcased tremendous advantage our Belizean democracy. The People’s United Party is one of the two principal partners in this democratic enterprise and certainly they fought a tremendous fight. I single out their leader, the Honorable Francis Fonseca. We were under our own pressures, so was the Leader of the Opposition. He had lost two by-elections and the municipal elections. He kept his party together and he won in the Freetown constituency so I must salute him and offer my congratulations. I will tell you that in the highest tradition he sent me a text message of congratulations this morning and I was very happy to be able to reciprocate.”
2015 marks 31 years since Dean Barrow has been involved in national politics in Belize and has yet to lose an election in the Queen Square division.