Taking you up north in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts we join Renee Trujillo.
Renee Trujillo, Love FM News: Voters in the northern municipalities of Corozal and Orange Walk went out to vote yesterday giving the People’s United Party an overwhelming mandate to retain to twelve seats that they had occupied over the past three years. In the most northern town, Corozal, Rigo Vellos was elected for a second consecutive term along with his slate of six councilors. The gap in victory stood at almost 800 giving the PUP a significant lead. At the time of the returning officer’s presentation of the final figures Vellos was front and center. He told the media that he’s happy the elections are over and very grateful for those who came out to vote.
Rigo Vellos, Mayor Elect, Corozal Town: “Elections is finally over and it’s time to move on into hard work and I want to thank all my supporters especially my campaigners they did all the hard work for us. I want to thank the candidates from the United Democratic Party also for allowing us to have a democratic elections and a safe one also without any problems. We’re here to work with everyone and my doors are open if their intentions who are really to take Corozal further and develop Corozal my doors are wide open for anyone it doesn’t matter what political party you follow.”
Renee Trujillo, Love FM News: Corozal town had the highest voter turnout with just over 72%. The six councilors elected are Otto Riverol who topped the polls followed by Hilberto Clarke, Baldemar Petch, Miguel Montalvo, Marlene Tapia and Rodolfo Narvaez. Meanwhile some thirty one miles away in Orange Walk Town just over 61% of the eligible voters had cast their votes. At the end of the counting process the PUP had a resounding victory. The margin of victory in this area was even greater and saw the gap at its lowest point being some three thousand plus votes. Before midnight Ladrick Shepherd was unofficially dubbed the Mayor of Orange Walk Town.
Ladrick Shepherd, Mayor Elect, Orange Walk Town: “I think the hard work that we were doing from since January ended up paying off. You know this is a big victory for the party because we know that Orange Walk has always been – but the end result is huge. I can’t believe the amount of votes we won this time because this is my fourth election and running as the Mayoral candidate I think we deserved it and we’re going to go work for the people. We have a lot of good people that want to see this town prosper, a lot of people that want to see this town move forward. I can assure you that we have a central government that is PUP now and also we have a Prime Minister that lives in Orange Walk better things can happen and I have told him personally I’m going to be hanging right close to him and we know that we have Monchi in the north and Selvin* in the east and with a Central Government and this town council we can do wonders.”
Renee Trujillo, Love FM News: The councilor candidates for Orange Walk Town are Fernando Sanchez who topped the polls followed by Joesie Cantun, Cadir Escalante, Dorith Pascascio, Allen Yu, and Joanna Rodriguez. Orange Walk is the hometown of Prime Minister John Briceno. Having taken the council under his wings as a PUP stronghold for the past six years PM Briceno says he’s confident that this council will perform well.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Look at Orange Walk Town I mean Orange Walk Town is a good example for both sides but certainly when you have a good leader, Mayor Kevin Bernard was considered one of the best mayors we’ve had and without the support of Central Government myself working along with him we managed to get a lot of work done and we want to be able to duplicate that kind of work in the rest of the municipalities and if you have a central government then it makes it easier because then the council would then listen to us more easier than if we have a council from an opposing party.”