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Jul 7, 2015

Secret Recording Released on Eve of Dangriga Bye-Election

Francis Fonseca

Both major political parties are in the south right now on the last sprint to Wednesday’s bye elections. News Five will have period reports all day from Dangriga as the voters go to polls to select a representative to succeed former area rep Ivan Ramos. Our coverage begins on Open Your Eyes and we’ll continue throughout the day until the results are known.  Two weeks ago, senior U.D.P. Standard Bearer and former Minister Melvin Hulse was recorded making explosive allegations which led to his political demise. In that recording Hulse went after his Prime Minister, accusing him of irresponsible and even corrupt use of Petrocaribe monies. Well if that wasn’t bad enough, News Five has gotten hold of another recording of Hulse, and he is making even more explosive allegations, this time against U.D.P. Dangriga candidate Frank “Pawpa” Mena. Hulse, in that snippet, says that the U.D.P. will have to buy the election in Dangriga because Mena is not liked. We won’t play it because there is no substantiation for those allegations, at least in the recording. But we did manage to get a response from P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca today.


Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“These are very serious allegations, in fact, on the tape; Mister Hulse makes some very serious charges against “Pawpa” Mena himself. These are serious matters and again they are allegations as you rightly say, but they are allegations being made by a fellow standard bearer, until very recently, he was a fellow standard bearer or “Pawpa” Mena here in the south, in the neighbouring constituency. He was in Stann Creek West; “Pawpa” Mena is here in Dangriga. So he knows “Pawpa” Mena very well, he knows him very well. And so I think these are serious allegations and these things deserve an explanation, they deserve an investigation; they deserve an explanation. We need answers from not only Mister Hulse and “Pawpa” Mena, but from the United Democratic Party, from the prime minister. These are serious matters and again, they provide an insight into the U.D.P. and into the candidate they are presenting to the people tomorrow in the bye-election, “Pawpa” Mena and of what type of individual he is. and so we take those allegations very seriously.”


On Monday, we had a look at the bye-election campaign. Up and coming politician, Anthony Sabal of the People’s United Party is going up against the experienced “Pawpa” Mena of the U.D.P.  Now, Sabal is a former teacher, who is highly regarded in the community. Mena is also popular having served once as Mayor, but before his term was completed, he left for the United States. His campaign is well-oiled and he has been on the ground far longer than Sabal, who became standard bearer after Ramos stepped down as area representative. Now as of May 2015, the voting register in Dangriga comprised six thousand two hundred and seventy-five voters which include electors in the villages of Hope Creek and Sarawee. In the recent Town Council elections, voter turnout in Dangriga was fifty-six percent however in Wednesday’s election, turnout is predicted around fifty to sixty percent. On this, the eve of the elections, both parties are on the ground on last minute campaign efforts.

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