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Aug 14, 2017

Anna Banner Guy is Odd Woman Out in Belmopan

This weekend, there was political activity in two major western municipalities. The incumbent United Democratic Party sought to fill six councilor seats from seven participants in Belmopan, joining an incumbent mayor, while in San Ignacio and Santa Elena it was the other way around for the People’s United Party – three candidates for mayor to join six established councilor candidates. The U.D.P. race centered on incumbent Anna Banner-Guy, who lost out on her party’s endorsement and fought an uphill battle against the machine of area representative, John Saldivar.  In the end, it was not to be for Banner-Guy, as Aaron Humes reports from the new capital.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The odds were always long, but defeat did not sting any less on Sunday for now-ousted city councilor for Belmopan, Anna Banner Guy. She tried but ultimately failed to dislodge the group of six contenders – three new, three incumbent – banded together to form the next United Democratic Party slate for the Garden City.

 

Anna Banner Guy

Anna Banner Guy, Eliminated from U.D.P. Belmopan Slate

“I give it my best and I knew what I was up against; and mathematically, it would have been really hard for me to win. I would have needed time to do a strategic plan and really strategize as how to go – it was six versus one and plus we had the area rep behind the six. So I knew that the challenges were humongous, but for me this convention was not about winning; it was about making a statement.  I am one of those women who got our area rep where he is; me, my husband, my two kids, used to be behind him, we followed him all over this country, and this is how politics works sometimes; but this is not how I work. I stand on certain principles, and today it doesn’t matter who was out here and what they were doing – that was in my view illegal – I know that I stand for my principles, and on election day, whether it’s a convention, whether it’s a general election, whether it’s a city council, I make sure I leave my pocketbook at home. You may look at me as if I have lost today, but I have already won.”

 

Guy collected just five hundred and twelve votes of one thousand and sixty-seven cast, compared to Paul Chun, the lowest ranking member of the opposing slate, who got seven hundred and two. Topping the poll was incumbent councilor Angel Pastrana with seven hundred and eighty-six, leading fellow incumbents Louise Willis and Jacklyn Burns. Trailing them were newcomers Jem Pascascio, Isidoro “Richie” Galvez and Chun. Magnanimous in victory, Belmopan area representative John Saldivar insisted there was nothing personal behind Guy being dropped; she, he said, caused her own downfall.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Area Representative, Belmopan

“I will say again, I have nothing against Miss Anna; I thought she took too long to say to us that she wanted to run; that is my only contention. And so we already spoke to people before and I certainly had to back the people that I had recruited, and that’s what I did. But she’s still welcome to be part of our machinery here in Belmopan.”

 

Reporter

“But she did it through the National Executive which is legal; it was accepted.”

 

John Saldivar

“I am simply saying that she took too long to say to me and to the executive that she wanted to run; nobody waits until the last hour to pick a slate.”

 

One man who did not have to worry about his job is incumbent mayor Khalid Belisle, who is going for a second term in office and was not contested at the convention. As far as the controversy with Guy goes, he maintained that it was all an unfortunate misunderstanding complicated by poor timing.

 

Khalid Belisle

Khalid Belisle, Mayor of Belmopan

“I believe councilor Banner-Guy had indicated months ago that she had intended to run again; and then we had a very unfortunate incident unfold with her son and so that took her out of the country for some time; I wasn’t directly in contact with her, and so we ended up with a situation where there was a deadline set for applications; and my understanding from the party secretariat is that she did submit her application in time – whether you want to look at how that came about in terms of communication, in terms of communicating with the constituency executive, that’s another matter; but she did get her application in in time according to the secretary general, who I have no reason to doubt; and so here we are today. This is democracy at its best and the people of Belmopan will choose.”

 

We spoke to two of their choices, retired public officer Jem Pascascio from Mountain View, and teacher Paul Chun, representing San Martin, Salvapan and Maya Mopan.

 

Jem Pascascio

Jem Pascascio, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belmopan

“When I was asked, I didn’t hesitate at all; I knew I wanted to get involved with the community; I didn’t know politics was the way I was going to choose, but since the opportunity came, I decided, yes, let me try it. So my intention is to try and see what will happen; if I am elected I will work along with the rest of the councilors to continue the development of Belmopan along with the Mayor, Mr. Belisle. Right now the City Council is working on cementing the streets; drainage is another issue that we would like to see developed in that area as well.”

 

Paul Chun

Paul Chun, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belmopan

“I see the progress in our area, in all the areas that we have, we see development happening; so I give myself to run because I want to continue working with the U.D.P. team. I see a lot of progress with the roads, lights and whatsoever you want to name it, there is progress and I want to continue working with the people.”

 

The race to March 2018 is on. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Guy continues as councilor until the expiration of her term. The P.U.P. will hold its convention in the city on August twenty-seventh.

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1 Response for “Anna Banner Guy is Odd Woman Out in Belmopan”

  1. Clute says:

    Well Anna, you’re a prime example why the majority of educated people and people with sense don’t support this corrupt government. They chew you up and spit you out like dogs when they have no use for you. Let this be a lesson to you and to anyone else that you just don’t vote “party.” You vote who you will think will do a good job for the benefit of the country. You were just sitting on the wrong side of the fence. And, if you think your allegiance with Patrick is going to help you, you’re about to see he will do you the same if he doesn’t have any use for you. As Lorna Cherrington-McKay from Gwen Liz. She’s going through it now.

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