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Feb 21, 2018

Political Parties’ Pageantry in Orange Walk

At the top of the newscast, we reported on the activities in the city where both parties pulled out their supporters in numbers.  Nominations to fill a total of sixty-seven seats were also a big event in the other municipalities. In Orange Walk, the P.U.P. is the considered the favourite where Mayor Kevin Bernard continues to enjoy support after two terms in office.   At today’s event, however, the U.D.P. team was exuding a certain level of confidence.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Nomination Day in Orange Walk saw P.U.P. supporters begin gathering from as early as nine a.m. before parading down to the Sub-Treasury Office adjacent to the police station to officially have their names added to the March seventh ballots for the municipal elections. A team of six councilor candidates, including two women and four men, are contesting along with the incumbent mayor, Kevin Bernard. As the wave of blue descended along the streets of Orange Walk, Bernard is confident, having held the top seat in the council for the past six years.

 

Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate, Orange Walk

“We have been campaigning, a very positive campaign. The people have been telling us Mayor Bernard we want you again; we want your team to go back into town hall. We want you to continue with the great work that you have started. Today is just the testament of the start of that. We are now official candidates—mayoral and councilor candidates—and this is the seven that will run town hall for the next three years.”

 

Going into the elections, Orange Walk is the only split town council ran by a majority P.U.P. councilors and a P.U.P. Mayor. Bernard says that he believes that a change is coming in the other municipalities and Party Leader, John Briceño agrees. Briceño says that the good ole party is energized and ready to defeat the U.D.P. and lead the country.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Party Leader

“Here, Kevin and his team have done an exceptionally good job and along with his team I have every confidence that on March the seventh, Orange Walk is going to go seven blue—Kevin as mayor and the other six candidates of the P.U.P. are going to be victorious.  Since August, they’ve been going on the streets every single day and I want to congratulate them on the hard work and the determination that they have to carry out the good message. The message that the party is ready to lead and we are ready to win.”

 

By two p.m., the streets were flooded with a sea of red shirts; what Orange Walk East Area Rep Elodio Aragon Junior says is a hundred percent true supporters of the United Democratic Party. The U.D.P. is trying to unseat Bernard and the P.U.P. after two terms in municipal office and the fact that Orange Walk Central is the stopping ground of the P.U.P. Party Leader.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Area Rep., Orange Walk East

“Indeed it is a battle ground; we are up against the Opposition Party Leader, we are up against an incumbent P.U.P. that has been here for six years. So it is an uphill battle here. But I have fate and confidence in the people of Orange Walk that when it comes to an election, especially this election here under the leadership of Philip De La Fuente and his team, I am confident we are going to have a win. It is an arduous task, it is an everyday battle; but we have been campaigning, we have been talking to our people and asking them to come out and give us their support.  And this support out here today is genuine hundred percent people from the Orange Walk town.”

 

The U.D.P. Orange Walk Executive has been throwing its support behind former U.D.P. mayor Philip De La Fuente, who stepped down as mayor back in 2012 and who contested in 2015 as the Belize Progressive Party mayoral candidate. After officially being nominated along with his team, De La Fuente says that the municipality is ready for a change.

 

Philip De La Fuente, U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate

“I keep getting from some secretive corners and some secretive calls, Mister De La Fuente, we can’t do this, we can’t do that, but you can count on wi vote. I know dah people from the other side, weh di call me like that soh, and I appreciate the support. I appreciate the support because when we get in the office, we will be working for everyone. It’s not a one-sided thing. This is our town and like I’ve always been saying, it is a little bit of the politics that has us divided. So once again we will get in there and we will unite Orange Walk. It is only when we are united that we can develop and progress.”

 

Duane Moody

“Do you think that you guys are at a disadvantage given the fact that your councilor candidates are novices, they don’t have the experience in politics?”

 

Philip De La Fuente

Philip De La Fuente

“I think that good; I think that’s great. Why yo want put people in deh…we need fi change, we need fi see new vision, we need fi see new ideas and new direction as to how our town needs to go. We can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting results. We need to change; we need to get that new blood and that new vision as to where we want to go.”

 

Kevin Bernard

“The people are fed up of this United Democratic Party government; we are fed of the corruption. People are also fed up of the way the country has been managed by the U.D.P.  Here in Orange Walk, we have worked, we have delivered on our promises and that is the reason why we will be reelected—the seven of us. It’s going to be a big sweep here in Orange Walk; we are going to win big. And I am telling you, I’m hoping that across the country, the same will result.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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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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