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May 3, 2018

Candice Pitts Out of P.U.P. Port Loyola Race; She Lashes Out

Candice Pitts

It is now official: the People’s United Party is continuing with businessman Gilroy Usher, Senior, as standard bearer in the Port Loyola division. Usher had been facing a challenge from first-time Belize City Councilor Candice Pitts. But News Five has received a letter sent by the party’s secretary-general, Linsford Castillo, to Usher informing that the party’s vetting committee had decided that he was the right man – and only man – to run in the division. While Usher has lost three consecutive general elections against Anthony “Boots” Martinez of the United Democratic Party, he has successively reduced the gap in votes each time and in 2015 lost by just seventy-six votes. Naturally, the decision does not sit well with Pitts, who wrote a lengthy social media response.

Gilroy Usher Sr.

Pitts writes that residents of the division were “dictated” to by party leaders. She states, “They endorsed the infantile behavior of what we can only define as a political coward, rejected a convention, and imposed a “leader” on the residents of Port. As a result, they have disenfranchised many Port Loyolans and have indicated that these residents should settle for mediocre leadership and representation.” Pitts writes that the party is ignoring the social justice, people-centered strategy that led them to their City Council election victory in March, in which Port Loyola votes put the blue over the top. She also attacks the women’s arm of the party, the United Women’s Group, claiming that no one supported her candidacy despite the party’s stated aim of at least thirty percent of its leadership being women. According to Pitts, only two women – one of them herself – are currently contesting constituencies. She also denigrates the party’s position on including youths in the democratic and political processes, saying that the party is “using” its youth faces to garner votes but keeping the older leaders entrenched. Here is how party leader John Briceño positioned the race when we spoke to him at a city council event in April.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Party Leader, P.U.P. [File: April 19th, 2018]

“We know that Gilroy Usher has been working very, very hard in that division for the past ten years.  He has gone from a deficit of almost a thousand votes to a positive this time around of about a hundred votes.  So he has brought it all the way up because of the hard work and the determination, constantly working every single day, day in, day out.  Now I have great respect and admiration to Dr. Pitts, Candice, and as she refers to herself, she’s the Johnny Cake girl who was selling Johnny Cakes and it’s admirable and that is what I’ll say about that.  With true grit, hard work, determination that you can make it in Belize which is a wonderful example just like Gilroy Usher Sr. who also came from humble beginnings.  Our party is a democratic party and we want as many people that want to get involved to get involved.”

 

While Pitts makes clear she wants to continue in politics, she says she is left with the belief by the decision of the party that, “I am young; a woman from Port; of a particular race and therefore good enough to be in local government, but not good enough to be in the National Assembly.”

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1 Response for “Candice Pitts Out of P.U.P. Port Loyola Race; She Lashes Out”

  1. mark Pech says:

    This move by the PUP only contradicts what we the people believe as “Democratic”. I hope the people of Owalk South are given a fair convention and just try to Shove Jose “Missing” Mai to our throats.

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