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Jul 28, 1998

Corozal activist urges protest vote

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During the last several months many Belizeans have wrestled with the question of whether they should register to vote. Others, who have registered, are still trying to decide whether or not to actually cast a ballot. On his trip to Corozal on Monday, Patrick Jones ran into a man on a mission to get every Belizean to vote… but leave their ballot blank. On August twenty seventh Gabriel Garcia wants to send a message to the politicians.

Gabriel Gustavo Garcia, Protest Leader

“What I am proposing to the electorate in general is for us to go and vote blank. It’s a protest movement actually and the whole idea behind it is to protest against the two major parties, because over and over, they have proven to be corrupt and the tendency has been during the past elections to just change parties one after the other. It’s about time we change. It’s about time we tell the two sides – the red and blue – that we have had enough, that the corruption is getting out of hand and they must restrain themselves so that in effect we could have better government. So basically that is the whole idea: for us to go and don’t mark any X on the ballot paper, to vote blank in a sign of protest. My target group is basically the floating vote out there and of course the dissatisfied membership on both sides of the political fence.”

Q: “What impact do you think your campaign will have on decision ’98?”

Gabriel Gustavo Garcia

“Well the impact will be seen actually after the election is tallied. Because one of the two parties is definitely going to win. It’s impossible to expect a hundred percent blank votes but if just to put you a possible scenario, if we should achieve fifteen percent of blank votes and we have eighty five percent of the other voters say the winning party gets forty five percent and the losing party gets forty percent, then the pressure will be on both sides to want to change to attract that potential fifteen percent of blank voters in the current up-coming elections. So that for any future elections they will have to change to attract to their side that potential fifteen percent that can actually slide the election one way or the other.”

Although his own brother is a candidate in Corozal Southwest, Garcia says his campaign should affect all the aspirants equally. In case you’re wondering, we asked, and Gabriel Garcia was quick to point out that he has no political aspirations whatsoever. He says that he has been developing the idea for several months now and that it was only after the election date was announced that he decided to go public with his campaign.

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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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