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Jan 6, 2015

Figueroa Trounces Harrison in Cayo North!

The results of the Cayo North by-elections were known early on Monday night but were in fact predicted before voting even took place. Early in the counting, the U.D.P. enjoyed a comfortable lead in every of the thirteen boxes from both polling areas, seventy-three in San Ignacio and seventy-five in Bullet Tree. When all the votes were tallied, Omar Figueroa ended with a commanding margin of victory over Richard Harrison capturing two thousand six hundred and sixty four votes to Harrison’s one thousand three hundred and forty eight votes. Voter’s turnout was sixty-two percent of the six thousand five hundred and ninety-eight votes. It is significantly less than the seventy-two percent turnout in the 2003 by-election in which John Saldivar defeated Joaquin Cawich in the Belmopan area by a slim margin of one hundred and ten votes. We can also say that the turnout in Bullet Tree on Monday was seventy four percent while in San Ignacio, it was fifty-eight percent; a figure which is significant because Bullet Tree voters will not be involved in the March town council elections.  Now, we closed our coverage on Monday when the U.D.P. retook its claim to Cayo North. News Five’s Isani Cayetano looks back at the euphoria of the moment.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Only the third bye-election in Belize’s political history, Monday’s attendance at the polls in Cayo North peaked at sixty-two percent.  Despite getting off to a slow start, a total of four thousand, thirteen votes were cast during the daylong exercise with the U.D.P.’s Dr. Omar Figueroa trouncing his opponent by a two-to-one ratio.


Dr. Omar Figueroa, Newly Elected Area Rep, Cayo North

“I’m not really surprised, you know.  It’s about Cayo North, it’s always been about the people of Cayo North.  But let me just thank the prime minister for his support and his encouragement, the deputy prime minister, all my team in Cayo North.  I couldn‘t have done it [without you], my wife, my family, my friends.  I am just so grateful to so many people.”


Omar Figueroa

That declaration sometime after nine o’clock when it was official that Figueroa had emerged victorious in a landslide against the PUP’s Richard Harrison.  When the final tally was announced the United Democratic Party’s standard bearer received a total of two thousand, six hundred and sixty-five votes, a majority of those ballots were cast in his favor at polling station number seventy-three in San Ignacio.


Dr. Omar Figueroa

“It’s the red hills Jules, the red hills came out and they spoke loud and clear but you look at the history of elections in Bullet Tree and our margin was very, very impressive in Bullet Tree Falls.  I mean, look at what the past general elections have delivered in Bullet Tree and you will know that the margin of victory in Bullet Tree was very, very significant.”


Prime Minister Barrow, who was on the ground along with members of his party, attributes the resounding victory to the confidence of the electorate in government.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This is a huge, huge margin of victory and it has to be extremely encouraging for us, we have to be ecstatic about it both because of what it says about the U.D.P., but also about what it says about the P.U.P.   Remember, there are two parties involved as there will be in the municipal elections, as there will be in the general elections.  It is clear, we had a wonderful candidate, all kudos to him, all praises to him but it is clear as well that people are happy with the performance of government and it is equally clear that they are not happy with the performance of the opposition.”


Of the aggregate number of ballots, five were declared spoilt and fifty-one were rejected.  Nonetheless, the overall turnout is considered reasonable when compared to the previous two bye-elections; namely, Freetown in 1993 and Belmopan ten years later.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We brought out our people.  Clearly it was a two-horse race and the other horse appeared not to be running.  The P.U.P. could not bring out its supporters for various reasons, including tremendous disenchantment with their leadership as expressed by the departed area representative.  So if two persons, two parties are in the race and one party brings out its supporters and the other doesn’t, you can’t expect a huge turnout of the order of seventy percent or more.”


Figueroa will be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives on a date to be announced.


Dr. Omar Figueroa

“That’s what I aspired for, to represent the people of Cayo North.  That’s my focus, representing the people of Cayo North.”



“But I’m sure that you’ve, the victory was more or less guaranteed for you, so there must have been discussions as to your future.”


Dr. Omar Figueroa

“I have never held any discussions as to my future.  My future is representing the people of Cayo North, that’s it. I don’t even know when I’ll be sworn in, I’m just so tired right now I just want to go home and relax a little bit.”


According to P.M. Barrow, there are no foreseeable changes to Cabinet.  The primary focus, he says, is on the existing national issues.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Expect nothing.  Our concentration really, our focus has to be on dealing with some of the immediate issues, for example, the sugar industry crisis and concentrating on the March Municipal Elections.  I don’t want to do anything to rock any boat.  I want this party to be united going into March and quite honestly while nothing is cast in concrete I do not foresee making any changes at this time.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Just a few other issues on the voting patterns, first is the importance of the late vote. At three o’clock in the afternoon, the total turnout was thirty seven point nine percent, the big push to get the voter out was between three to six o’clock, but specifically between three and five o’clock. Second, since 1989, there have been seven elections in the constituency; the margins of victory have only been this wide in two, on January fifth, 2015 and on February seventh, 2008.

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3 Responses for “Figueroa Trounces Harrison in Cayo North!”

  1. sickntired says:

    Any bets on how long it will take figueroa to get tired of udp and start express his frustration?

  2. Eye in the Sky says:

    Time fu try sell more a di Verena Ketchup.

  3. Me says:

    Really wah parking weh di PUP get. Wah trashing. a no di trick you. Dis means dat fi di nex bout deh hafi work mo haaada. Di PUP hafi realize dat money mek di Mail run. Deh mi do foolishness eena govament and Barrow capitalize pan dat and get di pipple dem very worked up. di adda day UDP mi di do foolishness and e luk like e blow weh like wah breeze. Dis di show dat di PUP deh very very weak. afta all Fonseca, u dah di leeda, blame wah deh pan u. Now Barrow gat di uppa hand pan unu. E gat Venezuela Money and e luk like e di do weh u paaty used to do. Make e pipple happy wid d UDP. check di support deh get dis time around. check di PUP support. U pipple no happy wid u paaty, deh no come out. Ah no sure if u wah look good eena eena dis nex elekshan weh di come up eeda. U reely haffi work haad mi p, all a unu eena d paaty haffi kom to gedda an stap di eet up wan a nada. dat da if unu wan get bak eena govament, if not unu karry aan wid unu eating up wan a nada. I seh so bekaaz di PUP people deh gat money but deh no di support deh paaty. dat is klearly seen wid dis elekshan. No meek no ghost fool u, even deh paaty supporters no kome out fi vote. FONSECA U REALLY HAFFI BUKLE UP AND DIG DOWN if not unu wah look bad again in a lee while, no only u but all a di PUP and weh wah ketch u, u pipe deh wah switch sides. wan a mi blood bredda done do dat. He dah mi wah blue to di bone PUP but now di man red to di Marrow wid Barrow.

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