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Jun 18, 2018

Paul Thompson, P.U.P. Standard Bearer for Albert Division

Paul Thompson

The Albert Division convention took place on Sunday. Just under a thousand voters made it to the Anglican Catheral College compound to cast their vote for Paul Thompson or Valerie Woods. Both senators ran energized campaigns that sometimes turned contentious and on Sunday, the two sides went after every vote. At some point during the day, voting was interrupted to give them time to decide or reject voters who did not have their IDs.   The polls closed at five o’clock and soon after, the counting of the ballots was finalized. Thompson, who has been working the division for long years, emerged as the clear winner. The new standard bearer was administered the oath pledging to work in the interest of his party. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Paul Thompson, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Albert Division

“I’m Paul Adrian Thompson do solemnly swear to work for the achievements of the aims and objectives of the peaceful constructive Belizean revolution; to support the principles, policies and programmes of the People’s United Party to abide by the constitution, disciplines and decisions of the People’s United Party to vote and encourage others to vote for all candidates of the People’s United Party in all elections and not to be a member of support of any other political party who’s philosophy, principles, policies or programmes are contrary to or inconsistent with those of the People’s United Party.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Paul Thompson is the P.U.P. standard bearer for the Alberts following a heated convention on Sunday at the Anglican Cathedral Compound in Belize City. Over nine hundred and thirty-eight electors from the south side division came out to vote between nine a.m. and four p.m. And after just over an hour of counting, Senator Paul Thompson came out on top with five hundred and seventy-six votes to Senator Valerie Woods’ three hundred and thirty-nine votes.

 

Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Chairman, P.U.P.

“The official results are: that a total of nine hundred and thirty-eight votes were cast; we had twenty that were spoilt and three that were rejected. Receiving three hundred and thirty-nine votes was Misses Valerie Woods and receiving five hundred and seventy-six votes, Mister Paul Thompson. Mister Paul Thompson is the new standard bearer for the People’s United Party in the Alberts Division.”

 

Throughout the day, the machinery on both sides was getting voters to the polls. During the process, there were allegations of irregularities. Candidate Valerie Woods, who was born and raised in the division and whose family still lives on Racecourse Street/Palm Lane, minced no words in condemning this action.

 

Valerie Woods

Valerie Woods, Candidate

“This is a party convention. I am a bit disappointed quite frankly with the level of negativity that is being thrown my way. I am very disappointed with some of those in leadership that have come out here and openly disrespected the process of democracy. But I will not back down. I am absolutely determined; when they put everything against me. They started with the timeframe, I said no. They told me get out of the Alberts, I said no. They told me you dah noh from yah, you dah fi other people; I said no. I am a Belizean, I am born and raised here, my family lives in this division, I have every stake and interest in it just like everybody else.  The lip service that some of these men in positions are giving to the people of Belize must end and if I can do my part in doing that then hell yes I am here for the long haul.”

 

Duane Moody

“Looking at some of the things you’ve said have happened, would you call it infighting within the party?”

 

Valerie Woods

“It’s not infighting. It’s men want to protect their turf. I get that you know, but it’s 2018 and that old, archaic, caveman style have to stop.  But it is not infighting. It is men protecting their clubs and friendships. I get that. At the end of the day, we all agree, the people will decide. The handouts that have been given, the rhetoric and the lies that have been given, people will see through it. I want to believe that.”

 

Thompson deflected from giving interviews all day until after his victory. After acknowledging Woods, this is what he had to say.

 

Paul Thompson

“We embrace challenges; what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. At the end of the day, we are all P.U.P.s and so we have to make sure that all P.U.P.s come out and vote when the General Elections comes around.”

 

Reporter

“How do you bring about the healing considering the fact there was tension in the room when they tried to select the names who will be on the list? How do you strategize moving forward in building that healing process?”

 

Paul Thompson

“As they say on the streets we no watch no face, yo know. We embrace everybody. Winning general elections is about not only P.U.P.s but bringing over people who are on the other party and who don’t necessarily follow you in the beginning.”

 

Winning the convention is only a first step to getting a seat in the national assembly. And to do that, Thompson will face off once again against his U.D.P. opponent and Minister Tracy Panton, who he lost to in the 2015 General Elections.

 

Paul Thompson

“This is the first step towards going to Belmopan and governing this country. The next step after that is raging war against poverty, raging war for better and adequate housing, for free education.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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