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Jun 23, 2016

John Briceño on Village Council Elections

John Briceño

Village Council elections are going into their fourth week, but strangely enough there’s been no real hype. Normally, by this time, both major political parties would have been claiming overwhelming victory in a majority of villages across the country. For the P.U.P., these elections are important because there has been a change of leader and he will need to show early viability. So has that been shown? Briceño told us that ideally village council elections should not be political, but since they are, inevitably, he’s happy to say that the party has made up serious ground.

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“Unfortunately it has become political. We tried not to make it political so there are a number of villages where we believe it is in the interest of the village not to make it political. For instance in San Estevan Village which is in Orange Walk Central, we decided from early that we were not going to make it political, so hopefully we can have an independent group that is going to run, and there are several independent groups. And in some areas because we think that we’re going to divide a community many of our representatives and standard bearers decided that in some villages it is not worth it. We are not going to do that to our people. But despite all that we are on the upswing. We have won thirty-six percent of the villages that we have had so far – I think we only had about one hundred and twenty for the past three weeks. With very little resources – we’re not using government resources, we’re not using government vehicles… we’re not using public officers that are out there during the campaign – we are doing it with very little resources and we have already won thirty-six percent, which is a significant improvement from what we did three years ago. We had only won twenty-five percent of the villages. But what is even more important is that the villages that we are not winning, we are losing by very small margins. In the village of San Jose in Orange Walk North where the former DPM is the representative – three years ago we lost that village by over five hundred votes. We lost it this week by a little over thirty votes. For instance in Buena Vista in Cayo Central – again we managed to win a few in there but the Chairman was lost by just about five, six or seven votes. And like that we have a lot of villages where we have been narrowing the gap, and for us it is a good sign that the P.U.P. is in the upswing and the U.D.P. has nowhere else to go but down.”

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