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Nine municipalities up for grabs

Sixty-seven seats are in play in tomorrow’s municipal elections. A total of one hundred and fourteen thousand, five hundred and seventy-four voters are eligible to participate in the elections.  We take a closer look at the nine municipalities and the individuals seeking to head them.

Belizeans will go to the polls tomorrow to choose who they would like to lead their municipalities for the next three years. The race is between the United Democratic Party (UDP), the People’s United Party (PUP), and the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) and a few independent candidates. There is a total of nine municipalities up for grabs.  The last elections that was held in March 2015, saw PUP capture only one municipality which is Orange Walk, led by Mayor Kevin Bernard, who is running once again hoping to serve a fourth term. However, UDP mayoral candidate, Phillip De La Fuente is hoping to oust Bernard from his seat.  Will this municipal elections see the PUP gain more municipalities? With time all will be revealed. In the most westerly town, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, it is the battle of the ages with 47-year-old Gerardo Marconi Sosa, a seasonal UDP Mayoral Candidate, who last won the mayoral seat in 2006 going up against a youthful PUP mayoral candidate, 22-year-old Cristian Danny Castellanos.  There is also an independent candidate, Domingo “Mingo” Obando vying for the title of mayor in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. In the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena Mayor Earl Trapp is hoping to have a second term as mayor. However, Trapp will have to beat three opponents. Marconi Matus, the PUP’s mayoral candidate, the BPP’s mayoral candidate, Roody Lewinsky Wade, and Independent candidate, Lupita Orellano “Alva Orellan” Fergusonwho is hoping to bring a different perspective as a female and make a difference in that municipality. In the capital, the incumbent Khalid Belisle is seeking to capture a second term as mayor. Belisle is going up against PUP’s mayoral candidate,Tanya Santos and BPP’s mayoral candidate, Charles Beresford Leslie. In Belize City, Councilor Dion Leslie is hoping to become the next mayor and carry on the UDP’s reign. Will he be able to do it or will PUP’s mayoral candidate, Bernard Wagner break UDP’s over ten years stronghold of the Belize City Council. There is also BPP’s mayoral candidate, Paco Smith and independent candidate, Ernesto Torres who are running for the mayoral seat as well. In Punta Gorda, the UDP mayoral candidate, Ashton McKenzie emerged victorious in a convention that was held in October 2017. McKenzie’s opponent is former mayor Carlos ‘Obeah’ Galvez and BPP’s mayoral candidate, Francilia “Sapa” Williamson. In Dangriga, the culture capital, the incumbent Francis Humphreys is hoping to capture the win for a second term. Humphreys is going up against Derrick Velasquez who became the mayoral candidate at a convention held in July 2017 and there is also an independent candidate, Chris “Master Chris” Lewis. In Corozal the face-off is between Richard Alexander Quan Jr., the UDP mayoral candidate, Rigo Vellos, the PUP’s mayoral candidate, and independent candidate, Armando Marcelo ‘Mandy’ Campos.  In San Pedro, the incumbent Mayor Daniel ‘Danny’ Guerrero is going up against PUP’s mayoral candidate Abner Andre Perez. For the most part, men have been known to dominate politics; however, females are gaining ground in this arena and the municipal elections will see forty-three females running for political seats, of the forty-three, three are running for mayoral seats.