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Jan 30, 2003

Haylock hopes to break P.U.P. spell in Pickstock

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She has been a community activist all her adult life, but somehow managed to avoid the realm of partisan politics… at least until now. As the U.D.P. candidate in Pickstock, with two formidable challengers, Diane Haylock will have her hands more than full between now and the fifth of March. As part of our continuing coverage of high profile races, I joined her on the campaign trail this morning.

Diane Haylock, U.D.P. Candidate, Pickstock

“This division has been neglected for a very long time and I think it is something that the people in Pickstock will have to work together with their representative to address.”

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

And Diane Haylock wants to be that representative. A political newcomer, but by no means a stranger, Haylock has been campaigning in the Pickstock Division for the past eight months. She is counting on her people skills and reputation as a social activist, to convince the constituency’s nineteen hundred plus voters to put her over the top come March fifth.

Diane Haylock

“I feel that I’m at home base so to speak, because for the past twenty odd years I’ve been doing community development work and I see major challenges in Pickstock to try to rebuild Pickstock into a community. So I am excited about the possibility of becoming the next representative of this division and being able to put and be able to put all the community development skills that I have to work.”

Haylock’s plans for the constituency focus on curbing crime and drug activity, while creating additional housing, educational and employment possibilities.

Diane Haylock

“It’s not enough to have just the opportunity; it is important to be able to have the access. So I think that what I see happening is trying to put in place relevant programs that will help to meet some of these needs. A lot of people, as we say inna good Creole, “ketch and kill”, and that’s not what they want for the rest of their lives. So what can you do to help them find more permanent, more meaningful employment.”

But let’s face it, politics in Belize is still very much a man’s world. In 2003, Haylock will be one of only five women contesting the twenty-nine seats in the general elections.

Diane Haylock

“It becomes more difficult for a woman because it is a male culture. And to be able to function in that male culture poses more problems for women, but I mean, I have so many years of experience, taking on some impossible tasks that I certainly haven’t seen it as any sort of impediment to what I have to do. I know what I have to do and I have been doing it and I am up to the challenge.”

Janelle Chanona

“What’s your assessment of your competition, you have Mr. Sedi Elrington running independently and Mr. Godfrey Smith running for the P.U.P. How do you view them as opponents?”

Diane Haylock

“Let’s put it this way, I think that Pickstock has been privileged to have three good people, but there’s one good choice. Or should I say one better choice.”

Janelle Chanona

“Your colleague, Mr. Singh has already told us that should the U.D.P. take general, he will be the Minister of Finance. Is there any position ministerial wise, you will be vying for?”

Diane Haylock

“I’m not sure. There are so many areas that are important to me, there’s education, there is the social sector. But I certainly will not be stuck in just social sector ministry, which is what they want to give the women. It is an important area, it’s always under-resourced and I certainly, if I would get that as part of my portfolio, it would be something that I have a lot of experience dealing with. But I really have not made up my mind. It’s not something that we have discussed thoroughly. I think I can fit into various things, but let’s just say I’m not going to be the “Ghetto Minister” as they like to refer to the social services are.”

The other women contesting the general elections are Patty Arceo, Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Sylvia Flores for the P.U.P., while Marilyn Williams joins Haylock on the U.D.P. slate. To date, no other women have declared themselves as independents.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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