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Feb 10, 2012

On the campaign trail in Orange Walk East

With just twenty-six days until General Elections, the political thermometer is heating up.  In Orange Walk East, the temperature is almost at boiling point and this week an incumbent U.D.P. area representative went full blast against his party and in favor of the P.U.P. But which side will benefit on March seventh?  Today, News Five’s Andrea Polanco caught up with both standard bearers on the campaign trail.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

In the Orange Walk East Constituency, a wave of the political colors, red and blue descended on the village of San Jose Palmar.  As the campaign trail heats up, all eyes are on this division, which in the previous election was Marcel Cardona’s seat under the U.D.P. But earlier this week, Cardona endorsed the P.U.P.’s Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, who is opposing, businessman Landy Burns. But has that endorsement changed anything for either candidate?

Landy Burns, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, O.W East

Landy Burns

“I think it’s gonna help me because the people, the few people that were left to prove that he was not really a U.D.P., a hundred percent. You could walk to this lady right over here and she just told all of us that, that was like the last straw and she’s not going to leave her U.D.P. party just because somebody is telling her that they are going P.U.P.”

Andrea Polanco

‘Now that Mr. Marcel Cardona has thrown his support behind you, do you think it gives you leverage or an advantage over your opponent, Mr. Landy Burns?”

Marco Tulio Mendez

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, O.W East

“Of course, that. Of course, the people are seeing that what he stated and what he went in for, those are issues that the entire town and villages want for some development. Orange Walk East has been abandoned, this government punished the people.”

And as for those Cardona supporters, they have drawn their own lines:

Esdras Reynoso, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Supporter

Esdras Reynoso

“That’s true; I have been a supporter of the U.D.P. for the past twenty five years. I also believed in them and thought it was a party that will always bring benefits to the people of Belize, but seeing the way the U.D.P. has forgotten us in the East and treated us and they have mashed us to the least. So, I think Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is the right person to bring up the East and give to the East which was neglected for four years under this administration.”

Araceli Gongora, Landy Burns Supporter

“He nuh want Mr. Landy fi di East. How you would say it, ‘es la calenture de Mista Marcel’ right, he want Mr. Landy lose but he will not mek it.”

Araceli Gongora

Andrea Polanco

“So I know also on your campaign committee, there are members who were with the previous area rep, Marcel Cardona?”

Araceli Gongora

“Yes, Marcel Cardona, I don’t know how he has the face to come and say mek people give him the support, when he neglected the people. He had at least one year when government supported him and he neva come si the people.”

Orlando Balam, Chairman, San Jose Palmar

Orlando Balam

“I believe, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has helped the village council and also the village and helped us in our community kitchen. This is the man that has been helping us. We have not received any help from the Government. I believe Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is the person for the East.”

All that aside, both candidates are hitting the ground going door to door to meet their constituents. Both camps agree the cry is for employment opportunities:

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez

“Jobs, jobs, jobs plus the cost of living that we are going through. In my area also we have a high criminal rate, so the crimes are very high in my constituency. So those are issues that are very important. My three main areas that I am focusing my campaign are in respect to health, being a doctor, jobs and education. What I am planning to do is a poly clinic because the Northern Regional is saturated with the number of people from the northern villages. So with a complete health clinic I know I will help to alleviate that number of looking for health service. Louisiana Primary School is saturated with students over a thousand students. So I am pledging to that I will be constructing another primary school for that area of the town that will be more accessible.”

Landy Burns

“One of the main things they’d like for us to do when we get in is to create more jobs. I have been telling my people that I have an idea of an industrial zone in Orange Walk; you could already say that we already have one by the factory and we have private land around the factory and which I would like to talk to the private owners and we could get private sector to invest in an industrial zone and we will ask government to get BELCOGEN to sell the industrial zone the electricity at the wholesale rate for whoever wants to go in and manufacture; and ask government to provide incentives for duty-free for people who manufacture within the zone.”

And those bright ideas, if they come to fruition are much needed for this constituency, where residents say there has been no recent growth or development. And as they go canvassing, the candidates are trying to plant a seed of hope and for victory on March seventh:

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez

“On March seventh, Dr. Mendez really stands for three main issues, health, jobs, and education. Those are areas which I will sincerely bring the most basic elements to improve people’s lives. I know the area. I been through the area and I have been providing them with medical clinics through the entire area for many years, free of cost. They know my sincerity to really represent them in the House of Representatives. I want to thank each one of them for their support and opening their arms for me when I am visiting their homes.”

Landy Burns

“I have a track record. I have been an independent businessman and started out in 1987 with one employee, I now have fifty employees. I contribute to the economy and try to create jobs even in times when there are no jobs.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, Mr. Landy, what has the response been like from the people of this constituency?”

Landy Burns

“I don’t like to praise myself or I don’t like to count my chickens before they are hatched but it’s very excellent, very good. It’s encouraging and that is why I am here from morning because people say they just want to see me. They have been seeing me for two years. People come to my office; I have been visiting the village; I have been working, fixing streets in this village for over two years with my private equipment.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

The Orange Walk East is a large sprawling constituency of over six thousand seven hundred and twenty-three voters as of November 2011.

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12 Responses for “On the campaign trail in Orange Walk East”

  1. Rod says:

    For more corruption and murders vote Fu bald head barrow and udp .

  2. murphy says:

    On March 7th vote PUP!
    Want to know about King Dean? visit http://www.kingdean.bz/

  3. Rich Kid says:

    No disrespect to Dr Mendez but as a Belizean we know that Money is Power and the U.D.P have both money and power. Look at who is your competitor, Landy Burns a Rich Man. You can’t help the poor Dr Mendez even if you make promises they will not hear but vice versa if Landy makes a promise even if he doesn’t produce a dime the people will pay more attention to him because they know he has money. Good luck on your achievements. Check out one our local dj Monday’s through Fridays from 7:30pm to 9:00pm on http://djmassive.listen2myradio.com/.

  4. Mistaken identity says:

    @ Rich Kid. You are spoilt & mistaken. Who but Ralph had power and money and a taxi driver gave him a good thrashing. Money doesn’t make the politician, it is the charisma and good intentions.

  5. Gracella Henry says:

    UDP all the way we wa win again we ready moving forward with PM Dean

  6. OW EAST says:

    Better will come with Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez….Healthy Leadership for OW East!

  7. murphy says:

    TO Gracella Henry, i no think uno goin win, moreover we as a nation no the move forward with Dean Mr. Quitar Oliver Barrow. We the move backward like crab and that’s a fact! Again want to know more about the Ball Head PM, visit http://www.kingdean.bz/. uno goin need speakers to listen to the music!!

  8. ABC says:

    Rich Kid, you’re trying to be real here but thats ridiculous…. so u’r saying OW East people are so dumb they wudn’t know that Burns will not take his money and give the people??? Its all about multiplying their own assets :-)

  9. big daddy says:

    I do not believe in any politician, poor Belizeans are blind that believe even thought the country
    is bad manage and our people are suffering and the rich people having thiers kids in the US. having a good life we believe in Red or Blue . WAAAKE UP BELIZE WE HAVE VERY SMART BELIZEAN , YOU DECIDE WE ONE WILL RUN THE COUNTRY WELL.
    ALSO WE BELIZEANS DONOT NEED DENY TO RUN O/WALK EAST , NO SALVADOREAN TO RUN MY COUNTRY . PROUD TO BE BELIZEAN IN THE US BUT MY HEART IN BELIZE ALWAYS!

  10. no mo lie says:

    To mistakeng identity you are wrong!”charisma and good intentions” dont make a politician.IS how good of a lier you are because they all lie and never do nothing until close to election day.

  11. Tibusio says:

    The day is near when God will descend his sword with fire to destroy the worshipers of politicians, their political flags.Politicians are in conquest for the people to become their apostles but in every sack of potato there is always a rotten one known as Judas. The repugnant religious leaders who have taken their flock to the grounds of politics bend on their knees. The big people will suffer a big fall and those who are in the ground will rise.

  12. Latina Mom says:

    It’s such a PATHETIC reflection of the UDP STYLE of driving the dagger into the back of the man who helped put them where they are. Similarly pathetic is to know that some people are capable of biting the hand of the man that feeds them. I worked with Cardona and I know that he paid for the Sixth Form Education, and had working for him the husband of the very bulldog which is now badmouthing him and barking “Landy all the way because he has a much thicker wallet!!”

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