Independent candidates all over the country have made it known that they are viable options at the polls tomorrow. Running for Independent candidacy in Belmopan is Richard Smith of the Christian Pursuing Reform Party or the CPR. Richard Smith ran in previous municipal elections as a mayoral candidate, and he even ran for area representative of Cayo South in 2008. In the upcoming municipal elections tomorrow he is running alone as a councilor candidate for the capital city of Belmopan.
CPR. Richard Smith
The year 2018, is going to be the revival for this country. Things [are] going to change. I will put myself in every action to mobilize the needy and the help Belize. When I look at it, if I run as a mayoral candidate, a lot of people say, “you are a Mayoral material, why are you going there. But what is in store for 2018 for me, I cannot be the top management leadership . I can work with any leadership to represent the core values so I decided ,you know, for right now to maintain consistency because from since 2008 I have put myself as Cayo South area representative, I have run against area rep for Belmopan, I have run for Mayor and this is my 4th time. So it’s been a long time that I have been running greatly and everybody in Belmopan know me; “go green stay clean”.
Richard Smith also commented on his ability and willingness to work with any Mayoral Leader once elected.
CPR. Richard Smith
Well, Belmopan knows me as a man that will work with any color. In other words when I lost in 2015 I ultimately engaged myself in working along with City Council . I have a very good relationship working with the staff at the city council. I got a very good relationship with Mayor Khalid Belisle because when I’m working I’m working for the best interest of the city and I am not compromising. I will not compromise; matter of fact, those who met on Tuesday could tell you, I might be the opposition but I will tell you this is wrong and you need to correct it. Here is what we need to do and I think that the city needs to start focus on the importance of start building initiative in this city and I think If I be elected under the PUP I could work with Tanya, no problem. I could work with Mr. Leslie and I could work with Mayor Khalid Belisle. Whosoever win because I am not working under color.
Rise and Shine also interviewed another independent candidate on its morning show. Lupita Ferguson is running for mayor in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, strongly advocating for Tri-party governance in the west.
Lupita Ferguson, Independent
I was born and bred in Belize I live on 17 Street so everyone from up the hill in Cayo know me. I was a teacher for 3 and a half years at Sacred Heart College and then left the country for a while. I got married and left. I lived in a few countries, mostly in England, but I came back 12 years ago to San Ignacio to live; exactly on 17 Street where I lived and I grew up. I have been actively involved in the communities since I came back. Immediately as I came back I went to volunteer with the Cornerstone Foundation in San Ignacio. I volunteered and then worked with them for 5 years and Ms. Rita Defour was the General Manager of the Cornerstone Foundation. It’s a charity very close to my heart in particular because it has a feeding program, an effective program that effects the life of, especially the more needy. I then in 2011 took on my own. I wasn’t involved in politics then. I aspired to serve. I aspired to make an impact in our community. I started by taking up this Women in Politics Course in 2011. I traveled every Saturday to Belize City for this course. It was a five month course. I graduated in 2011. I remember it was 25 women that graduated from this course from all over the country after which I then became a delegate with the UDP. I was a delegate for 5 years until recently I worked voluntarily and quite arduously for the benefit of the people. It wasn’t for a party, it was for the people that was my most interest because I think it’s not about a party it’s not about a color but u have to join a color. Anyway that’s how the system is. I ran a Cayo Women’s group and during that time for over 4 years now I am the coordinator for the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture.
During our Rise and Shine interview with Lupita Ferguson, she also brought to light an issue concerning UDP Chairman Alberto August. According to Ferguson, August came into her office and threatened her because she is running for Mayor in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio.
Lupita Ferguson, Independent
A week ago I had Mr.Alberto August come to my office at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena house of culture NICH. He came to my office and threatened me. He was there for 2 or 3 minutes threatening me, telling me “…you’re not going to win! You’re not going to win. Why are you running?” and I said, look, first of all you’re not God. You don’t know who will win. When people go and put there X on that ballot nobody knows. That’s private. I know they are saying that there is a way people can know, but ultimately, that’s your private decision whether or not you want to make it public or not it is your doing. You have the right to choose and so he came to threaten me telling me that they will be consequences. He was aggressively pointing, and shouting, and ultimately I said “please leave my office and I asked him 3 times and he wouldn’t and said “you can’t chase me from here”. So I said “well you stay I am going to leave and I got up and never once lost my respect”. I never once used any bad language because that’s not me. I got up and then he got up and I went back to my seat and he came back again and I was ready with my phone and so he walked away pointing aggressively. I don’t even remember what he was saying then.