Belize City is the largest Municipality of the nine across the nation. Nomination Day in that city sees larger numbers on average as it relates to political rallies and marches and today was no different. As in Belmopan, the Pup were the first to make their way to the nomination center. PUP Mayoral candidate Bernard Wagner was asked how he felt following the nomination.
PUP Mayoral candidate Bernard Wagner
Momentum continues to build and that is what we want in our jewel. We know we have a formidable opponent so all you have to do as a group, as a unit, as a team, is continue to build momentum and when you are able to do that on a consistent basis as you saw at the convention, We saw today and we continue to drive that to build. We feel come March 7th we are in a good position to take over City Hall. We have heard many things on the radio many times that a City Council is not mandated to do that but we have to ask ourselves what is the city? The city is not the building, it’s not Civic Center, it’s not the Marian Jones Stadium! The city is the people. When you as a counselor or as a government forget the people they we are heading down the wrong road. We want to turn that equation, we want to turn that trend where we’re putting people first; where we are focusing and running programs driving policies where we support socio economic impact to people .
PUP Belize City slate will be launching their manifesto on Neal’s Penn Road in Belize City tomorrow.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it was the UDPs turn to make their way to the nomination center. Like in Belmopan, the Red crowd outnumbered the blue one. Our colleagues in Belize City caught up with UDP Party leader and Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow as the UDP candidates made their way to the nomination table.
Journalist; If you had to at this point and make a heat check and make a prediction how many will you control on March 8th?
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow
A vast majority, very much a vast majority, and I will leave it at that. This morning in Belize City it was very much about the optics, very much about the display, very much about flexing and I’m afraid that the leader of the opposition and the PUP were duds this morning in country distinction the UDP is putting on a phenomenal display, Clearly it is a display that is only possible because the support is still there; very much present here in the old capital for the United Democratic Party.
Mr. Barrow was also asked if the crowd for UDP had anything to do with the UDP having more money than the PUP. Here is how he responded.
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow
I thought it was agreed. I thought it was common, not wisdom, common knowledge that the PUP is very much in funds these days otherwise how could they even aspire to bring out 15,000? You know the cost of that kind of an effort so there is no question of any money disparity they are in funds, They are able, if only they had the support, to do as much as we can, but, the truth is they do not have the support. Not here in Belize City certainly and I believe that is the position in all of the municipality and I would even include Orange Walk. I’m not telling you that we are going to win but I know it’s a hell of a fight that De la Fuente and his team are putting up and do not count them out. I would not be surprised if we won Orange Walk Town.
Belize Progressive Party’s Mayoral Candidate Paco Smith and his councilors also spoke to the media as they made their way to the nomination table. Smith is a three time candidate and explained why he continues to offer himself.
Belize Progressive Party’s Mayoral Candidate Paco Smith
Belize is in desperate need of substance of change when you look around in terms of political parties out of the BPP there is no choice when I say that there is no choice I ties into the notion when I speak of the UDP in that the degrees of separation between the two major parties are very small if we look at it from a nation perspective we see numerous instances from which this has played out and also in regards to the municipal level the same range troop .The reason we are here is because we are committed to changing the system and a lot of people probably don’t see the vision as yet but, each occasion when we have A opportunity to contest the election we believe that we are making a mark.
And Ernesto Torres, three time Independent candidate for Belize City Mayor, says he is ready for elections day. He says although he is a one man slate with no councilor candidates, Belizeans are ready for such a change.
Ernest Torres, Independent Mayoral Candidate
There is nothing in law that says about team and there is nothing in law that says about a UDP city council or a PUP city council. It says that you elect the mayor separate from the councillor candidate and the councillor candidate is made up of people who apply. People who want to be members of the council and then they are elected. It’s not about color. If we have 5 red and 5 blue and Torres in the center we have a watchdog. Right now we have none. If you vote full blue, ,full red, or full VIP u don’t have no watchdog. Belize city voter and tax payers needs a watch dog. That same voters trend is now on the climax of changing .March 7th will bring the first of it. It’s a new era.
The last Municipal elections held in March 2015 saw the UDP gain even more ground when they moved from control of just 6 municipalities to 8 of the 9 municipalities. The only current PUP run municipality is in Orange Walk Town. Again, Municipal elections are scheduled for March 7