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Nov 5, 2015

P.U.P. 2 – U.D.P. 2 in Orange Walk

When the final official results were released at around eleven Wednesday night, The P.U.P. held on to two seats in Orange Walk – Central and South. The U.D.P. wrested away control of Orange Walk East and held on to the North. While elections in this northern district are generally tempestuous episodes, the 2015 version was calm and unremarkable, with the exception of very minor scuffles in the north. Mike Rudon has a quick look at a very long day in Orange Walk. 

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Our coverage on Election Day started at the Louisiana Government School in the East of Orange Walk, a seat held by the P.U.P., but certainly up for grabs. It was expected to be a battleground, but there was an almost surreal sense of calm, with voters going about their business throughout the day…hardly any sense of urgency and certainly no contention and none of the usual trading of insults. Both candidates – Elodio Aragon Jr. and Josue Carballo were confident of victory.

 

Josue Carballo

Josue Carballo, P.U.P. Candidate, OW East

“It’s wonderful Mike; it is going as we had planned. We see a constant flow of people that is really supporting the P.U.P. and we notice that most people are coming in with neutral shirts and they are going on our side of the line. And like I said, people just want to come out and make sure they make that positive change.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Now a lot of people believe that aesthetics on Election Day means a lot; the political muscle that you bring out. Looking behind you, do you feel that the P.U.P. has been able to establish some sort of dominance in this polling area?”

 

Josue Carballo

“Definitely, if you notice there is a constant flow of U.D.P.’s higher people and you have the P.U.P. here. And every time you see that constant flow of voters, that’s what’s important. As the voters starting to come out, they are going on our side and I think that’s important.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., U.D.P. Candidate, OW East

“We are working to bring out all our voters, and I am hoping that things will pick up later this evening. So we had a little shower but at the end of the day I think the voter turnout will be good. We’ve always had a good voter turning in the Orange Walk East division, so that is what I’m expecting.”

 

Orange Walk Central was also very calm. For the first time three candidates were vying for this seat – the U.D.P.’s Denny Grijalva, incumbent John Briceño and a last minute Belize Progressive candidate, Phillip de la Fuente.

 

Phillip de la Fuente, B.P.P. Candidate, OW Central

“Campaigning deh goh good mi bally, but right now, it’s very slow. The people turn out look like it will be a little low, but I still feel good mi bredda; I still feel good.”

 

Phillip de la Fuente

Mike Rudon

“Now everybody says that elections are won on Election Day. Tell me about Election Day for you.”

 

Phillip de la Fuente

“Well my goal right now is to just meet and greet; that’s my job right now – meet and greet and that is what I am doing.”

 

Mike Rudon

“In terms of having a viable chance against Denny Grijalva, John Briceño; you think you have a viable chance?”

 

Phillip de la Fuente

“Yes, I do. Yes, I do. I had mentioned before…you know the people in Central know me. They know what I have done as the mayor, they know me through my business; they know me for me – not through politics.”

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Candidate, OW Central

“It has been going very well. It has been going according to our game plan. From early we started taking out our voters. We have a very good machinery, we have seasoned campaigners, people that know the voters, know their people, and we’re taking them out and that’s all we can ask for.”

 

Geraldine, Zone Captain, Team Denny

“Up to now everything is working as planed and we are trying our best and we will see what we do later on.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Give me a prediction for when the last ballot is counted.”

 

Geraldine

Geraldine

“About two o’clock the people will start coming out.”

 

Mike Rudon

“But you think that Denny Grijalva will unseat Johnny Briceño?

 

Geraldine

“Yes, by far.”

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

The most hotly contested area was Orange Walk North, stronghold of the U.D.P.’s Gaspar Vega. He was being challenged by the P.U.P.’s Ramon Cervantes Jr., and there was talk of an upset leading up to Election Day.

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr., P.U.P. Candidate, OW North

“Trail Farm is a battleground. I have visited other villages and it’s going very well in the other villages. But this is the battleground. This is where I am mostly.”

 

Gaspar Vega, U.D.P. Candidate, OW North

“It’s looking good. it’s looking good.”

 

Gaspar Vega

Mike Rudon

“Are you identifying any challenges at this point? Is your machinery working? Are you brining out the people?”

 

Gaspar Vega

“Yes, yes…it’s working well. I am confident.”

 

Mike Rudon

“I’m asking all the candidates…give us a prediction for when the last ballot is counted?”

 

Gaspar Vega

“I’m expecting to win by a bigger margin than what I won the last time.”

 

We couldn’t get to Orange Walk South because of logistics and time, but when the last ballot was counted the P.U.P.’s Jose Mai has beaten the UDP’s Lupe Magana by only sixty two votes. In Orange Walk Central, John Briceño beat Denny Grijalva by six hundred and twenty-three votes. The B.P.P.’s Phillip de la Fuente got four hundred and ninety-three votes, the highest of any B.P.P. candidate countrywide. In Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon Jr. was victorious by a margin of five hundred and forty-seven votes while in the North, Gaspar Vega won over Ramon Cervantes Jr. by four hundred and eighty-nine votes. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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