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Oct 1, 2015

A New, Consolidated Third Party Emerges

Even as general elections looms, in fact just thirty-four more days to go, a number of small political parties have banded to form what they call a labor movement. This morning, the political activists announced they have fifteen thousand of half a million dollars they need for a campaign and eleven of thirty-one candidates required to field a complete slate of candidates which they hope to have in place by Nomination Day on October sixteenth. Indeed since Independence, every general election has been contested by a third party, but are they viable? News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Patrick Rogers

Patrick Rogers, Party Leader, Belize Progressive Party

“I, Patrick Rogers, hereby declare my candidacy for Collet Constituency and commit to serve without fear of favor and will disclose my income, assets and liabilities in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act.”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The political amalgam that is the Belize Progressive Party, a mash-up of aspirants both independent and aligned, formally introduced itself today.  Made up in part of former members of Vision Inspired by the People, Belize Unity Alliance, We the People and the People’s National Party, BPP is somewhat a super group of alternative candidates.  With a little over a month to go, BPP’s immediate goal is to successfully sell itself as a viable option for the undecided voter.

 

Paco Smith

Paco Smith, Chair, Belize Progressive Party

“No games shall be played for this party represents a new Belize political consciousness in which governance is inclusive and not selective, as it is currently practiced by the powers that be.”

 

Led by Patrick Rogers and Wil Maheia, the unveiling of the third party is another addition to the existing political landscape ahead of the November fourth general elections.

 

Robert Lopez, National Campaign Manager, BPP

“As of today guys, we are thirty-four days [away from election day.]  So it is Belize at thirty-four days to the new dawn, to the revolution, to the change.  And so, having run in five elections, having committed, and I want to say, we noh like use the word proud, humbly, we have always published our campaign financing.  We have always challenged both parties to do the same and up to today, after thirty-four years we have not seen a budget for anyone of them.  We have not seen a financial report for anyone of them, we don’t know where the money comes from, we don’t know how the money is spent.”

 

Unlike previous, individual endeavors, the newly formed party is anticipating a campaign budget of half a million dollars; a paltry sum compared to the big two.  The idea is to raise the necessary funds through assistance from the business community.

 

Robert Lopez

Robert Lopez

“Yesterday we were looking at was it a half a million?  Yes, we were looking at five hundred thousand; divided by a hundred it’s five thousand per businessman.  Not that, listen, we’re open, yo wahn gimme yo dalla, five dollars, ten dollars, a hundred dollars, whatever you wanna give us.  But what I’m saying is to level the business playing field in this country a businessman would gladly invest that and no expect anything in return.  And we’re not talking about the big boys, we’re talking about an ordinary businessman who just simply wants a level playing field to operate.  They would.  But if dehn wahn give one thousand, two thousand, whatever it is we can raise this money and we can make sure that our constituencies and our candidates have the best chance.  And again I say, it is expensive but we can do this.”

 

Conceptually, Belize Progressive Party is about forming a labor movement, drawing from a number of candidates, including cane farmers and businessmen.

 

Patrick Rogers

“We’re not about forming a liberal party here Belize.  We’re not about forming a liberal party that would have gladly accepted half a million dollars from the oligarchy.  We’re about forming a labor movement.  So our ideology, our philosophy is based on labor.  We are in effect the labor party of Belize, if I could have chosen a name that would have been the name that I would have chosen.  However, it is not about Patrick, it’s about a collective wisdom that we trust.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “A New, Consolidated Third Party Emerges”

  1. Al says:

    I have always said that maybe a combination of the 3rd parties out there would be the way to go. A unified third party would have the most legitimate chance of at least putting a dent into this PUDP stranglehold on the country. Glad to see it happening even if not a complete unity. But i must say this. In all my 35 years of voting, I have yet to see a 3rd party candidate come to my door. Maybe i have just been unfortunate not to be living in their constituency for which they are running. Can you imagine how it would be if we had in the House, at least TWO representatives that are INDEPENDENT of the PUP and UDP? Only we the people can make that change.

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