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Jul 29, 1998

“Elections ’98″: the Mesopotamia division

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In other political news, we take a look tonight at the major candidates in the Mesopotamia division of Belize City. U.D.P. incumbent Michael Finnegan, is facing a challenge from P.U.P. footsoldier turned candidate, Ray Lightburn. Patrick Jones reports.

Michael Finnegan, U.D.P., Mesopotamia

“The issue, not only in my division but throughout the country, this election, is all about trust. Totally trust. The people in Mesopotamia are very safe with Michael Finnegan. You go around the division, everybody is shouting how we are very safe with that young man.”

Ray Lightburn, P.U.P., Mesopotamia

“Jobs, good education for the people in the area and better housing. The housing are collapsing right now. They are inferior and they are not properly constructed. In the way they are constructed, there is not space inside, people living together and there is only a wall in between that separates families. And keeping the area clean. In effect what I want to do is develop and maintain the area. We have a problem in Belize that we don’t maintain anything. That’s one of the things I’m looking at.”

Michael Finnegan

“I won the last election by some three hundred votes. This election you can count it from anywhere from five hundred go up. But we’ll leave the numbers until after the elections but I can guarantee you it will be from five go up.”

Q: “You sound very confident. What makes you so confident?”

Michael Finnegan

“I have worked hard for the people. We have great communication; we have transformed Mesopotamia division from dungeons of disgrace to havens of freedom and human dignity and the people will repay me for the good work that the U.D.P. and I have done in the Mesopotamia division.”

Q: “Your opponent is the incumbent, a former Minister in the out- going government, what is the one thing you think that will put you one step ahead of Michael Finnegan in this division?”

Ray Lightburn

“Well what we are doing right now is that we are actually helping the government to subsidize people. We’re looking out for the care of the people. We’re helping to fix houses that are leaking. And actually one of the things I was born in this area and I’ve always been close to the people. What will put me one step ahead is hard work and the support of the people. This one is for the people. This election is about deliverance for the people and I am for that.”

Q: “So after the elections, after all the ballots have been counted, you will be in Belmopan?”

Michael Finnegan

“It’s all about trust.”

Q: “So you’re headed to Belmopan?”

Ray Lightburn

“Well that’s depending on the people. Actually, I want to stay mostly right here where my office is. I want to always be in touch with the people.”

The Mesopotamia Division is one of the nation’s smallest with a little more than seventeen hundred registered voters.

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