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Nov 5, 2015

3 Seats for the U.D.P. in Cayo

All eyes were on the Cayo District where in 2012, the P.U.P. came within sixty votes of winning two divisions and general elections. On Wednesday night, Julius Espat easily beat Ralph Huang and as they say, three is a charm because Landy Habet won his first election in Cayo North East. Jose Sanchez has a report from the west.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

There are thirty-five thousands nine hundred and eleven registered voters for the entire Cayo District and twenty-six thousand four hundred and nineteen votes were cast. So a little over seventy-three percent of the voters voted in Cayo North, Cayo North East, Cayo Central and Cayo West. Most voters walked into the polling areas while others were rolled in. The politicians missed no opportunity to give that final handshake in a day that was all about mobilization. In Cayo North, U.D.P.’s Omar Figueroa, felt early on that he would win against the P.U.P.’s Michel Chebat.

 

Omar Figueroa

Omar Figueroa, U.D.P. Candidate, Cayo North

“I focused on these few months and actually hitting the ground and getting to know the people, having clinic days and interacting with them and and now I am reaping the benefits of those.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Was there anything different in terms of your strategies for targeting young voters? We already know people who are diehard P.U.P. or U.D.P. will vote for their parties. But what did you do in terms of reaching people?”

 

Omar Figueroa

“Just walk the streets. I live here I was born and raised here in Cayo North and that’s one of the big differences. For the bye-election, my opponent Richard Harris was actually born and raised in Cayo North. So when I was pounding the streets, you could feel his presence out there. Now I’m running against someone who wasn’t raised in Cayo North. Even when he lived here for his earlier years in life, he actually lived in Cayo North East.”

 

The hills did go red for Figueroa who had two thousand six hundred and seventy-four votes, easily beating Chebat’s two thousand one hundred and seventy-five votes.

But the main source of energy in the District was from Cayo Central, where the incumbent, U.D.P.’s Rene Montero faced off with former P.U.P. Minister, Dan Silva.

 

Rene Montero

Rene Montero, U.D.P. Candidate, Cayo Central

“Well, we have twelve zones in Santa Elena and each zone has a zone leader and each leader is responsible to bring out the people from the zone and we believe that we have been doing that all throughout the day. There has been a constant flow of voters coming in from this morning.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“I know you are crunching your own numbers. How do the numbers look in terms of people who have actually come down? Have you looked at that as yet?”

 

Rene Montero

“Yes I think we have over fifty percent right now. I think we are at fifty-five percent and at the end of the day, it will be around seventy percent.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“What was your campaign based upon?”

 

Dan Silva

Dan Silva, P.U.P. Candidate, Cayo Central

“Well it’s based on my record. We gave two thousand lots; we build schools…we even have Galen University here. We built houses, cemetery, police station, fire station, basketball court…so we have a record here. Well it’s been a dirty campaign. One of the dirtiest I have ever been to. But it is going very good. People have been receiving us. Today, we are going to win Cayo Central.”

 

The revelry was the same in Santa Familia and other villages.   But Montero would win with three thousand two hundred and ninety-nine votes edging out Dan Silva’s three thousand and thirty-six votes.

 

And the candidates such as U.D.P.’s John August felt confident about Cayo North East.

 

John August

John August, U.D.P. Candidate, Cayo North East

“I already feel like a winner. I think we have been doing our work today, bringing out our people and the numbers will show tonight. So I am very confident that we will deliver a victory the U.D.P. here in the Cayo North East division once again.”

 

And as the sun set on the hills, the boxes were taken after six pm to the counting stations. But Cayo North East would be the one of the two constituencies that the hills did not run red and the winner, Landy Habet, roused the night with fireworks. Habet secured victory with two thousand two hundred and seventeen votes against John August’s two thousand one hundred and forty-five votes.”

 

Landy Habet

Landy Habet, P.U.P. Candidate, Cayo North East

“I’d like to thank my committee, my executive; to thank everybody who came out to help and of course I also have to thank Mister August for putting up a good fight. He and his team, I think they put up a good fight. I expected to win by a larger margin; it wasn’t so, but a win is a win. Last time, I lost by seventeen votes, now I won by seventy-two. Unfortunately, I understand that we did not find the government, but I will do all my best to represent my people. I will be attending the House meetings and to try to get as much as I can from the government, whatever it is that I can achieve for my constituency, even in opposition.”

 

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

 

P.U.P.’s Julius Espat received three thousand and eight votes and toppled Ralph Huang’s one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two votes. In Cayo West, Erwin Contreras received three thousand two hundred and ninety votes, easily beating the P.U.P.’s Doctor Lesbia Guerra who received two thousand and six votes. 

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