The 2015 Municipal elections are right around the corner. With less than 8 months away, political parties are starting to introduce their candidates. Recently, the Peoples United Party has announced the support of their elected candidate Jose Chacon, while the United Democratic Party has put forward their support for Khalid Belisle. On Friday another Candidate has come forward and he is no stranger to Belmopan. Richard Smith is the Director of My Refuge Christian Radio, which operates in Roaring Creek, and is also the organizer for the annual Take Back The Land Parade in Belmopan. Now he has decided to run for Mayor as an Independent Candidate. According to Smith, he wanted to run as a Councilor, but felt called to run for Mayor.
“I feel that now is the time. I wanted to run as a Councilor, but I felt God put on my heart ‘No’, I need to go beyond my comfort zone. I was thinking, as Councilor you could just show up at meetings and go home, and let the Mayor handle the business, But I want me to be the driver. So I offer myself as an Independent candidate, CPR, Christian Pursuing Reform. I called it CPR because when a person is dying you give him CPR. When a city loses its vision, it needs somebody with a vision. I believe I’ve got the vision for the city, and it is workable, and it is definitely some way we could advance the city for Belmopan development.”
Richard Smith has ran for general elections as an independent candidate in the past but with little success. According to Mr Smith, he was even sought out by one of the main parties to run for Mayor at their convention. However, he decided to run as an Independent Candidate even though a third party has never won an election.
“I’m a pioneer. I love to pioneer. I love to go where people have never been before. It takes somebody to railroad the pioneering system to rebuild independent candidate. My analogy for this is saying Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase gets stuck on the roundabout, going round and round and couldn’t get off the roundabout. There’s Big Ben, there’s Parliament, there’s Big Ben, there’s Parliament. That’s what we are doing in Belize, PUP, UDP, PUP, UDP. We curse every side. We say ‘PUP no good’, ‘UDP no good’, but we still keep voting them back. Until Belmopan realizes that we’ve got to start somewhere, and there has to be thinking outside of the box. So I’m offering to say we don’t need a party, we need people.”
Mr Smith may currently be a one man show, however, he is hoping that before March, more people would jump on board as City Councillors. Richard Smith says he is being endorsed by other third parties, Wil Maheia and the PNP and Bobby Lopez and the VIP.