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Jan 26, 2018

Twin Towns Join in Municipal Campaigning

The twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena are in full gear for the March seventh municipal elections. Both parties are on the ground campaigning house to house and holding small assemblies.  Like in other municipalities the issues are of national importance as well as local. The area is commonly known as the red hills and that is because residents have traditionally voted red, but it doesn’t mean that the blue machine is intimidated. Today, News five Duane Moody headed west and visited incumbent mayor Earl Trapp as well as the man who wants that job, Marconi Matus. Here is a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the council has been red for the past fifteen years, for the current term, former councilor turn mayor, Earl Trapp is the incumbent and is throwing his hat into the race once again for the mayorship of the towns. His political career started years ago as a councilor in 2003 and Trapp says he is going for one more term to lead his team to victory.

 

Earl Trapp

Earl Trapp, U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate

“Why I decided to run once more for mayor is because of the many developments that have come through my leadership. And it is not only the many developments but the many acknowledgements that have been forthcoming by the general public. We have honestly transformed or continue to transform this municipality. We have brought it from level two to, if you want to call it, a level seven in terms of development in only two and a half to three years. And because we continue to boast in being the number one inland tourism destination, we have already set the foundation.”

 

His political rival is Marconi Matus, who is leading his P.U.P. team with five males and the youngest female in the race for councilor. Matus is no stranger to politics, aside from working the political campaigns in the west from the 1980’s, Matus is a former mayor of San Ignacio/Santa Elena back in 1997. He says that after fifteen years under the U.D.P., his community needs a change.

 

Marconi Matus

Marconi Matus, P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate

“I am here, I want to serve this municipality because I believe that I did not serve in 1997; these people did not allow me to serve and now I am going to serve my people. We have been campaigning in that motto that we will be servants and not king like some of the politicians; that after they win, they turn their back to the people. We will work for this municipality; we have been campaigning and telling them that we will deliver for the three years because we have a general elections coming and we are going to work for you San Ignacio and Santa Elena people. Our manifesto is simple. We are not offering the moon or the stars because we don’t know how we are going to receive that municipality. We know that we have a big loan for that building; we know that the present town board owes an exorbitant amount of money. We are going there to work with the resources that we have.”

 

Since last year, both major political parties have been on the campaign trail polling the concerns of residents. In both instances, the high unemployment rate is a major issue so how do either candidates plan to address this?

 

Earl Trapp

“I have always said and I will maintain that our government needs to work more closely with the private sector or they need to do more to attract foreign investment, something that will maybe bring more industries into the country of Belize, something that will create more jobs. And we have to think about the very short-term goal. We have to prepare for the many students that have graduated; we have to prepare for the students that will be graduating.  This town council has gone one step forward in facilitating our youths, entrepreneurs with a soft loan in the range of five hundred to five thousand dollars as a startup capital for their business.”

 

Marconi Matus

“The main concern no jobs, the economy is so bad. People at this present administration; no accountability, no transparency. And I could go on and on and on. Corruption, everybody…not we the slate, not we di P.U.P.’s are saying. You have people from the municipality that supported the United Democratic Party. They are crying that they want a change, we need a change. So what we have been noticing that people want are jobs and we don’t have transparency, we don’t have accountability.”

 

Former P.U.P. Mayor Matus versus incumbent U.D.P. Mayor Trapp – on March seventh, the voters will decide. Duane Moody for News Five.

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