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Feb 21, 2018

Nominations in for Municipal Elections; P.U.P. First Off the Mark with Confidence in City

As of this Wednesday evening, there are no longer aspirants, but candidates for the March seventh municipal elections. The process of nomination took place under overcast skies countrywide, with rain attending the marches of both the People’s United Party and United Democratic Party. But Mother Nature had only a negligible effect on the spirits of the die-hard supporters of the persons seeking nomination to run. Both the major parties and even the handful of alternative parties and independents claim massive support, but as the crucial final stretch begins, it’s all about who made the biggest impression. News Five’s Aaron Humes begins our coverage in Belize City with the upstarts from the People’s United Party, who were first off the mark this morning.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Nomination day is all about energy – of the crowd, carrying their heroes to be called and counted; of the candidates, hyped up to begin the final stretch to election day; of the leaders, eager to make even the slightest possible impression on potential voters. In the Old Capital, despite rapidly overcast skies and natural moisture, the People’s United Party had all three.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader, P.U.P.

“The crowd that we sent out – I think we need to look back two Sundays ago, when we took out a massive crowd, we had about fifteen thousand people that came out from all across the country – that is the message. Today what we did, is just to take out some supporters to show our support for our candidates, to give them encouragement; to show that we are with the party, to show we are energized and we are united, and we are going to do everything possible to take down the U.D.P. in the next City Council elections on March the seventh.”

 

Javier Castellanos

Javier Castellanos, P.U.P. Councilor Candidate, Belize City

“I feel very energetic; I feel the crowd out there, very energetic also. We have the team here, and I believe we [will] have a win come March the seventh; we do have a win! P.U.P. all the way!”

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate, Belize City

“Man, I am excited. Excited, excited. The horses are now in the gate; we have done the groundwork; we continue to work, we continue to gather momentum. This is a clear indication today that we are on a winning streak and we continue to gather momentum. And we are hoping, actually we know, that come March the seventh we will be in City Hall.”

 

For the first time that we can recall, television cameras were allowed inside the nomination hall at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building to record the moment for posterity. Returning Officer Colin Griffith and his team of assistants warmly welcomed Micah Goodin and Allan Pollard as the first candidates to be nominated, around eleven-thirty. The rest streamed in one and two at a time, among them Wagner. The P.U.P. have built an interesting mix of youth and talent which they say has been a big hit with Belize City residents – and a threat to the mostly grizzled veterans of the U.D.P.

 

Micah Goodin

Micah Goodin, P.U.P. Councilor Candidate

“It has been a very intensive campaign; we got out the gate running, trying to meet everybody, or as much people as possible because we know we are the underdogs and we know that we don’t have enough time; but we are confident that we will have enough time to secure a victory on March seventh.”

 

Ryan Elijio

Ryan Elijio, P.U.P. Councilor Candidate

“It has been great. I must say the people are with us, God with us, everything is the best and we are ready!”

 

Oscar Arnold

Oscar Arnold, P.U.P. Councilor Candidate

“We have a great team and we have a great leader in Bernard Wagner and that has made it easy for us. And it’s appropriate today that the rain came down because we’ve been campaigning throughout the rain; nothing has stopped us and the people are receiving us very good.”

 

And the now-candidates can’t wait for Election Day.

 

Allan Pollard

Allan Pollard,  P.U.P. Councilor Candidate

“March seventh guys, young old the middle-aged, please come out and vote, please give us the support; we have an amazing team here, an amazing leader [in] Mr. Bernard Wagner; and we just hope that you guys give us the support for the change we desperately need in the city.”

 

Ryan Elijio

“My last word would be guys, come out, support a team that cares, support a people person. Imagine, young black boys from Southside actually have a chance to be somebody in this party, to be the hope of this party, to represent you the people in this party. So come March seventh, this isn’t a U.D.P. or P.U.P. fight, this is a people’s fight. We deserve better. We are the best that was promised to you guys.”

 

Micah Goodin

“We will not let you down. We will put people before projects. We will deliver; we will take care of our responsibilities. We will be a council for all in Belize City – whether you’re P.U.P., U.D.P., B.P.P., we’ll serve you all – there will be no first, no second, no third. We will serve all the people, all the time.”

 

Michael Noralez, P.U.P. Councilor Candidate

“Most of them that we talk to are saying they haven’t voted for the last three, four elections. But now because of some of the characters we have on this slate…”

 

Michael Noralez

Aaron Humes

“I hope good characters, right?”

 

Michael Noralez

“They are very good characters; that’s why we made it! But they are pledging to us that they will be out to vote. Because for the last City Council election you had about forty-eight percent of people who came out, so we are working on the other fifty-two percent. So they are saying they will come out, they will support us, and for us not to behave like those who are in power right now.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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