The Belize Progressive Party is calling on the Government to postpone the general elections. The first call of this nature came from the VIP, who in a desperate move to stop the elections, explored the legal possibilities of nullifying the results of the elections by filing a constitutional challenge. The BPP’s call to postpone the elections however has more of a humanitarian initiative behind it. We spoke to two representatives from the BPP shortly before our newscast today.
Bobby Lopez, BPP, Belize Rural South: So we put this release out, it comes from the executive having debated and discussed the issue, having listened to our candidates. Our people were on the ground during the weekend helping the affected people in Belize City, and it has come to us as the executive, we found the need to go ahead and put this request to the government and asked please, let’s have a heart for our affected Belizeans. Let’s stand in solidarity with them, let’s give them enough time. We were thinking at least 3 months for their lives to return to normalcy and then yes we can call the election. Then all of us would be able to say let’s go to the polls, not having those situations to deal with.
Charles Leslie Jr. BPP, Belmopan: These people aren’t in the best frame of mind right now to be focused on a general election in less than 2 weeks. They are worried about how they’re going to have a meal within the next 12 hours, and they’re worried about where they’re gonna sleep. Lot of people in the city and the northern side of the country had their properties destroyed. As we can see and what we have seen over the past 2 or 3 days that this storm shine a light that after 34 years we still have a lot of people living in poverty.
Of course, this is election season, and as you all know, the stakes are very high, especially for the BPP, the new party that was officially formed only days after the elections were called. So we asked them if this call is just another desperate political move to give them more time to build their political foundation before the general elections.
Reporter: Is this maybe a political move to give you guys more time to get the ground work out there? We know you were scrambling to get your candidates ready for the general election. It was called too soon for you guys.
Charles Leslie Jr. BPP, Belmopan: Absolutely. Actually we weren’t scrambling. We were going through a very very strategic process. Because our constitution gives the Prime Minister arbitrary powers to call elections at any time he wants, we actually did have to expidisously speed up some of our plans but it was planned. No absolutely not, we’re not into this to win elections. If we were, we would have compromised our position by taking money from special interest groups years ago. Years ago we would have compromised our position on the ICJ issue. We would have compromised our position our position of anti-corruption. So no. This is about the people of Belize.
Bobby Lopez, BPP, Belize Rural South: It’s a humanitarian decision. It’s a decision of the heart, the conscience. Let’s have a conscience Mr. Barrow and let’s put this thing off and let God decide at the end of the day who the next leader is and government for Belize.
A NEMO advisory issued at midday today said that authorities are monitoring the potential for flooding along the Belize River.