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Jul 27, 1998

P.U.P. Corozal candidates present platform

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The four Corozal representatives in the House, all members of the People’s United Party, today invited the press to hear their take on the upcoming elections. Patrick Jones was on hand to get the P.U.P. version of life in the north.

The joint press conference hosted by the incumbent P.U.P. representatives in Corozal was to discuss local issues in the campaign. Corozal Bay representative Vildo Marin, as he had done previously in 1989 and 1993, presented a manifesto, detailing his plan for the area if his party is successful at the polls.

Vildo Marin, Corozal Bay

“This is a document which is circulated by our campaigners in the division and it is a guide. When a voter looks at this Corozal Bay manifesto at least they know what to expect from the P.U.P. government and from me really.”

Although it is a Corozal Bay manifesto, the document addresses issues that are also of major concern to the other divisions. The Corozal manifesto addresses ten issues, including health and sports, education and job creation; the latter being the one that the northern caucus considers most important.

In agriculture, the plan is to reopen the Petrojam Factory to grind cane on a continuous basis and to give cane licenses only to bona fide farmers. In the commercial sector, the manifesto pledges to pursue mutually beneficial trade agreements with Mexico and to get the Corozal Free Zone working the way it should. And in health, to repair the Corozal Hospital and build a clinic in the center of town.

Florencio Marin says the decision to go public with their plan, ahead of the party manifesto, is purely a matter of campaign strategy and is in no way an indication of dissention within the party.

Florencio Marin, Corozal South East

“Everyone of us said Vils, what we are doing is under the leadership of the Honorable Said Musa including me, I said that. I thought that was enough for us to take hint that we are working together as indeed we are. So please take note that we are working together as one People’s United Party. But we also want to highlight the way Corozal has been treated by this administration -total abandonment.”

Marin says that all four candidates in the district have committed themselves to working together to jump-start the economy of the Corozal district. A key component of this endeavor they agree will be to reopen the Libertad Sugar Factory within the first one hundred days of a new P.U.P. government and to venture into tourism.

Florencio Marin

“The Corozal economy as we see it, as the four of us see it, and in this we have the support of the leader because the People’s Assembly in the district held in Libertad, the leader permitted himself to open the Corozal Sugar Factory. That is priority one for the Corozal district people.

Tourism is a new area we are venturing in. Corozal does not have a, a limited experience and tradition in the tourism industry. Yet we have the resources. We have the Corozal Bay. I talk about ruins in Shipstern, the Bacalar Chico area that is all part of this region that lends itself to sport fishing and other things to do. We talk about textiles. If you see around there are a few shelves that were closed after the change of government and people are waiting to see that there will be a change of government – that the P.U.P. is going to win – and people are talking about opening these textile factories. I mentioned electronics because we have a small industry where they are assembling fans but the fifteen percent VAT killed it because it is not competitive.”

In their presentations Valdemar Castillo and Gregorio Garcia said that putting the needs of the people of the area first is a must and pledged to do all they can to deliver jobs and quality health care as outlined in the manifesto. After the two-hour press conference, it was back to the campaign trail for the four men as they try to once again deliver four Corozal seats in the August twenty seventh elections. Patrick Jones, for News Five.

The northern manifesto, along with statements delivered at the various People’s Assemblies, will form part of the P.U.P.’s soon to be released national manifesto.

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