The 2020 general elections came with some surprises in divisions that have been dubbed as UDP strongholds. Out west, the five time UDP Area Representative for the Cayo West division, Erwin Contreras was dethroned last night by PUP’s Jorge Milen Espat. The division has been a UDP area since 1998 when Contreras came into power by a margin of ten votes against PUP’s Amin Hegar. Fast forward, 22 years later and the division is back under the control of the PUP. The irony of it all is that Espat who by 225 votes was not even registered to vote in this election. Espat says he had forgotten to re-register. Espat is a newcomer to electoral politics but still managed to garner 2,703 votes giving him a lead of 225 votes over Contreras who only received 2,478. The media spoke with Espat just before the closing of the polls yesterday evening at six.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating flood that the country experienced the voter turnout was expected to be lower especially in the Cayo District. According to the returning officer Elbert Jahmor Lopez the voter turnout was high despite these challenges.
Eduardo Raul Ayala of the Belize People’s Front was also vying for the division.