UDP Convention Kicked Off In Belmopan Over the Weekend

UDP Convention Kicked Off In Belmopan Over the Weekend

A total of 1,914 eligible ballots were tallied at the end of yesterday’s convention in Belmopan. The tensions were high, but so was the energy of all three contestants. Although each campaign group was out in full force, they were able to maintain composure and the convention was a rather peaceful affair. We rejoin Giovanna Moguel for the following story. 

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: All eyes and ears were laser-focused on the country’s Capital City, Belmopan, as the highly anticipated UDP contested convention took place on Sunday at the UB Gymnasium. Former Minister of National Security, John Saldivar was victorious in the three-way race against Retired Colonel George Lovell and auto salesman, Emil Torres. 

This was the scene outside of the voting grounds around eleven o’clock in the morning. Dozens of people stood in a queue that seemed to never move.  The three candidates put aside their competitiveness for a brief moment and, Torres, explains how they were able to get the ball rolling.

Emil Torres, UDP Standard Bearer Candidate, Belmopan: “This is from the morning. From nine o’clock I told them this would not make sense. The chairman insisted that he would control all the tickets at one station and everything would be bottlenecked to him. People have to go to verify their name and then come back to him. That whole process will take you about a minute in there and you see how many people are out here ? You can’t shift the goal posts in the middle of the game. We established rules, boundaries and guidelines on Wednesday’s meeting. Chairman came and make up his own thing. So you know what we had to stand, the same way I stand up to him I will stand up for the rights of everybody in Belmopan just like that because you know what they won’t intimidate me. No disrespect but they don’t intimidate me because you know what because they don’t pay my bills. You know what they’re not paying for my campaign so you know what I don’t owe them anything that is the bottom line. So yes that is the biggest downfall of humanity, indecision. They are there “bah bah bah bah” all day long while people are out here suffering in the heat. I told them “enough is enough” let’s get in there to talk to those people because this is not working and watch on it now it’s flowing smoothly.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: And indeed, the long line of voters quickly ebbed away as the flow became more controlled. After that moment of disarray, the candidates quickly reverted into campaign mode.  Retired Colonel George Lovell has been receiving an outpour of public support from the Party Leader, Moses “Shyne” Barrow, in the weeks leading up to the event and he was the one Barrow was routing for. Love News caught up with Lovell two hours into the convention to get an insight into how he was feeling.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Vote for Retired Col. George Lovell.” 

George Lovell, UDP Standard Bearer Candidate, Belmopan: “You sell all those people that you don’t see with shirts there? Look at these lines, who are those people for ? Look at them. Come this way and have a good look from here see ? You see any John Saldivar? You see any Emil Torres? There is one John Saldivar there, there is no more. My campaigners alone is as much as probably what John Saldivar and Emil have. Don’t be fooled by the campaigners it’s the people. Remember it’s a numbers game and it’s about the people and that’s why I ask you to look along the line again to confirm and recant your statement because it’s not what you’re thinking and it’s not what you’re saying.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: Over one thousand nine hundred voters cascaded into the auditorium throughout the course of the day to cast their votes.  UDP Standard Bearer, John Saldivar, conceded that they were expecting a large turnout at this highly anticipated convention.  He says that from his view, the people of Belmopan were receptive to his candidacy and seemed willing to give him a second chance. He says that despite not having the support of the party leader, he is willing to work along with him for the betterment of the party and Belmopan. 

John Saldivar, UDP Standard Bearer, Belmopan: “Definitely the social and economic services that used to be provided to our residents here from Belmopan whether it be through pantry, boost, educational help, medical help, those have now come to almost a grinding halt and of course the infrastructure development in Belmopan it’s been two years ten streets paved versus a hundred and thirty streets during my thirteen years in Government so people see it, it’s noticeable and that’s what they’re crying about. I was expecting a large turn out and so far that is what it has been. The people of Belmopan are sending a strong message to Oscar Mira that they’re not happy with him. Whether they’re here to vote for myself or Mr.Lovell or Mr.Torres they’re here also to express their disappointment with Mira so I expected a large turn out.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: Giovanna Moguel for Love News.


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