Over eighty candidates were officially nominated today which makes them confirmed as Standard Bearers for the upcoming general elections. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the regulations in place the Elections and Boundaries Department was forced to conduct this year’s event in a tamed and controlled fashion. Part of that controlled mechanism saw nominations taking place in 31 different locations. Our Love News correspondents were on the ground in all areas and were able to speak with many of the candidates. Paula Ack and William Usher were in the Orange Walk District where they witnessed the nomination of the PUP’s Party Leader, John Briceno.
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader, People’s United Party: “It’s a simple process there’s just the form where you get nominated and then we have the six persons that nominated me they present their IDs and check that they are registered voters of Orange Walk Central and then they signed the nomination form and then I also signed it along with them. It’s a simple straight forward process. You never get used to doing these nominations but this one is kinda bitter sweet one. You know my father died three years ago and then my uncle died last year and you know they’ve always been looking forward to this day when I could get nominated especially as the leader of the People’s United Party. So exciting but still as I said bitter sweet because of the loss of my father and my uncle and so many other supporters of people that have been with me from the very first time that I got elected way back in 1993.”
In Belize City our Reporter Naim Borges met up with UDP’s recently elected Party Leader, Patrick Faber who also gave an interview on various angles of the political process. As it relates to Nomination Day, Faber marked this as a milestone in his political career as it is the first time he is being nominated as leader.
Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader: “It’s a great feeling. As you know I’m no stranger to being nominated on behalf of the great United Democratic Party. I think this will be my sixth time, once for the municipal elections of 1999 and then the four subsequent general elections and then today but this is the first time that I’m being nominated while I am the leader of our beloved party and so it’s a wonderful feeling to be a candidate officially for this party once again. Well for me it is constant engagement. The people of my constituency know the services that we have offered them. While it is that I try to keep busy with the overall work of government my constituency office and indeed on occasion I get out myself and engage with our supporters, our voters and even others who don’t support us so for me that is what will count. Of course as we now are officially nominated I am officially nominated we’re going to try to hit the campaign trail as much as possible but do so in a responsible manner in fact I will still try to as much as I can do that kind of campaigning where we can text message, phone calls, if we have to visit some folks we will try to do so but do it responsibly over the course of the campaign because for us health is very important and we don’t want to jeopardize any of those voters not being able to come out on election day but also overall I mean we have to try to keep our citizens safe.”
The Belize Progressive Party was represented in seven divisions for this election season. The BPP’s Party Leader Patrick Rogers has thrown his hat in Belize City and will be contesting in the Pickstock Division along with UDP’s Anthony Boots Martinez and PUP’s Anthony Mahler.
Patrick Rogers, Leader, Belize Progressive Party: “Understanding Belize that we did brought you all twenty five candidates in 2015. Every election cycle we try to make adjustments based on what our experiences show us and what the people ask for. So we amalgamated the We the People party, the bulk of the Vision Inspired by the People party of which I keep reiterating up to today I’m still the only political leader of the Vision Inspired by the People to be elected but immediately upon being elected I wanted to work with brother Will Maheia for a long time so we immediately got the PNP from Toledo, the We The People from Corozal and the bulk of the VIP from Belmopan and Belize City. We tried fielding thirty one candidates and we experienced a fall off like what is happening right now with us in Queen Square where in some of the divisions once they know who will nominate our candidates the big parties go and get to our nominees that’s why we always big up the six people that nominate our candidates because they are as brave as the candidate whose name you see on the ballot Belize. So the party decided to go in with eight candidates only because we’ve never had an election cycle where the business community is willing to put a copper in what we’ve been doing because they understand our message is to bring change to this country and they’re comfortable operating in an environment that works for them. They don’t want to risk electing someone like Rogers who is saying that we will live under the rule of law once I’m elected. I don’t have any power Belize until I’m elected. I fought to get the Senate elected so I would have had the power to jail a minister but in the kingdom of Belize don’t expect to see any elected member of cabinet go to jail until another elected person is there to bring them down. So that is what we’re offering Belize. We went in with eight candidates to give ourselves more resources to try and bring in a couple of those candidates because we don’t need thirty one to make a difference, one of us wins or a few of us win there will be check and balance in the House of Representatives.”
Nancy Marin of the Belize People’s Front was officially nominated in the Cayo Northeast division where she will be going toe to toe with PUP’s Orlando Habet and UDP’s John August. Marin spoke to our Cayo Correspondent Elaine Berry on her participation in this process means for her and the voters.
Nancy Marin, Leader, Belize People’s Front: “I think first of all people expect me to be present as I have been and now that I have been officially nominated as the standard bearer for the Belize People’s Front I am more so going to be present in the constituency. We have a lot of plans starting with jobs, jobs, jobs it’s all we need. We have sixty two thousand people in the country that are jobless at the moment and a lot of those people reside in Cayo North East so the plan of the Belize People’s Front and myself is to actually continue the work in bringing industry into the area. Health is another issue where our hospital we only have a polyclinic, we need to make sure that that becomes a full fledge hospital so that we’re not transferring to Belmopan who cannot take it right now anyway.”
Reporter: Now that you have taken up this role as to represent the Belize People’s Front come November 11th when you go to homes in this division what are some of the concerns that you hear when you go and visit people ?
Nancy Marin, Leader, Belize People’s Front: “First of all because of COVID we have not been doing as much of the visiting as we would like to. We try to respect the health and safety of our people so we are not entering homes we are handing out fliers, we’re going by people’s gates, we’re walking around but we’re doing a lot of talking with people on social media and doing telephone banking and stuff like that and people are really tired. You know they have now seen first hand the effects of corruption in our country and they’re really tired.”
Nominations took place from ten o’clock this morning through to four o’clock this evening. The PUP’s were nominated this morning followed by the third parties and independents while the UDPs were nominated in the afternoon. Each candidate was nominated by six persons and had paid a nomination fee of two hundred dollars. Both the PUP and the UDP had the 31 divisions covered while the BPP is contesting seven divisions and the BPF has representation in 19 areas.