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Feb 15, 2018

U.D.P. Answers the Call in Belmopan

In the growing capital city of Belmopan, the municipal campaign is in full gear. Earlier, this week we caught up with the P.U.P.’s mayoral candidate Tanya Santos who wants to unseat the sitting U.D.P. mayor. Khalid Belisle is winding up his first term as mayor and is seeking re-election on March seventh.  Belisle is perhaps one of the youngest mayors and he has put a lot of energy into sporting activities and infrastructure development. He believes that he has the competence to continue the job he started three years ago.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano caught up with Belisle and his team earlier today as they went door to door in the Salvapan area of the capital. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

As the second of only two cities in the country, Belmopan continues to grow at a rapid pace, well beyond the fringes of the Ring Road.  In outlying areas such as Salvapan, the United Democratic Party is pounding the pavement in an effort to visit all homes ahead of March seventh.  Led by incumbent Mayor Khalid Belisle, the team is hard at work in its pitch for voters to return the slate to office on March seventh.

 

Khalid Belisle

Khalid Belisle, U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate, Belmopan

“We’re having a wonderful experience on the campaign trail at this point in time, trying to reach across the length and breadth of this city of ours trying to meet as many residents as possible in their homes, in their neighborhoods so that we can see for ourselves and hear from them firsthand the issues, concerns, challenges, problems that they may be facing on a daily basis around Belmopan, as well as ideas and suggestions from them as to how we can better serve them as a council if we are privileged to lead again after the seventh of March.  So it’s been a good reception, it’s been reminiscent of how it was two years ago and so we’re quite happy with how it’s gone to this point.”

 

Also seeking re-election on the U.D.P. roster is Jacklyn Burns.  She is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Belize, as well as a teacher at Belmopan Comprehensive High School.  Her influence as a woman in politics has inspired those inside the classrooms, where the youth voices comprises seventy percent of the voting population.

 

Jacklyn Burns

Jacklyn Burns, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate

“I will tell you Isani, I’m very proud of one of my students up in Orange Walk, Ms. Yara Cal who is vying for a seat right now on the U.D.P. slate there.  Good luck Yara.  I taught Yara on behalf of UB during a summer class and she was so inspired.  We did women in literature and a section of that was women leadership and it was in that very class that she decided that she would run as a candidate.  So certainly the young people who are looking at me they are very curious about politics, they want involvement.  This time around we are talking about getting a youth council together so that they are involved in the leadership of this nation.  They make up approximately seventy percent of our country and we want to hear their voices.  This is their future, we’re just paving the way for them.”

 

Realizing that there is a healthy juvenile and adolescent population in and around the Garden City, Councilor Angel Pastrana, responsible for sports, market and sanitation, among other duties, is the mastermind behind the annual Kids Cup.  The yearly football tournament which commences on March third, sees as many as thirty-eight teams competing for the title.  It is one of many initiatives undertaken by the present administration.  Education remains a key area of focus.

 

Paul Chun

Paul Chun, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate

“I’ve noticed that a lot of push has been placed in the education sector.  A lot of students have been qualified and even the teachers, there are so many input on their education as well, to be educated, to deliver good quality curriculum and more work.  Especially in the area of Maya Mopan, I see a lot of development in the Gian W.  We got some lights, we got some streets, there are more works that will be pushed if we are elected to this seat.  We’re gonna push for more work.  I’ve run into this party so that I can represent the Mayan community.  I’m representing Maya Mopan, San Martin, Salvapan, even Las Flores and on all the other communities, we run as a team and we’re going to work as a team.”

 

That enduring spirit of team work is what the party is relying upon to continue its work in and around the Garden City, including Maya Mopan.

 

Khalid Belisle

“Between the city council, the sitting area rep, as well as our colleagues over at RECONDEV, there’s a work plan in place for Belmopan in terms of the areas we are targeting for development and the schedule in terms of getting there.  So, for example, roughly four years ago, we started this massive infrastructural boom in Las Flores and we paved ten or eleven streets over there.  And from Las Flores we moved into Salvapan and from Salvapan into San Martin and we did do the cementing of San Martin Road from the bridge all the way down to Masapan Street and that runs through the heart of Maya Mopan, or original Maya Mopan… we’re starting all over again going into Las Flores to do Ramirez Street, roughly a mile of road and after Las Flores then we come back.  It’s a rotation, we want everybody to enjoy the benefits of the infrastructural development that we are pushing here in Belmopan.”

 

It is proven work ethic and dedication that the U.D.P. Belmopan Seven hopes will secure their respective seats at City Hall next month.  They believe that the track record set over the past three years will cement their legacy as a council in the years to come. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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