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Jul 8, 2015

Anthony Sabal versus Frank “Pawpa” Mena in the Dangriga Bye-Elections

As we bring you the news tonight, Elections and Boundaries officials, escorted by Police, are transporting boxes from six polling areas to the Father Phillip Marin Parish Hall where they will be counted to determine the new area representative for the Dangriga constituency which includes Sarawee and Hope Creek. As is traditional in every single election we’ve covered both sides continue to claim victory. What we can report is that in all those six areas, the P.U.P. and U.D.P. machines were revving, sometimes too high. While the results will be some time in coming, where aesthetics and muscle are concerned, both mass parties seemed evenly matched. We’ll continue to bring you live coverage until victory is declared later tonight, but for those who may have missed the day’s drama, our news team has put together some highlights. Here’s Mike Rudon with that story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Polls opened this morning at six polling areas – four in Dangriga Town, one in Sarawee and the last in Hope Creek. It was easy to see early on that this would be a showdown. Both sides brought in muscle from across the country, and both sides took up positions on the one hundred yard line. At least from appearances, it was impossible to determine the underdog party, which is certainly the role the P.U.P. has assumed in recent past elections. Both Party leaders were at the battleground at Holy Ghost RC School. This is the largest area, with two thousand four hundred and sixty-eight of six thousand two hundred and seventy-five voters registered here. Both leaders were optimistic.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“We feel very good about the execution of our plans so far. It is going just as we planned. All our street captains are out working actively, working very aggressively picking up workers. Each of them have a list of people they are supposed to pick up at specific times; they are out doing that. All our campaign workers have shown up on time, all of the polling stations are fully manned so we feel very good. We feel very good in terms of the execution of our plan.”


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, U.D.P. Leader

“It strikes me that this is hotly contested as it should be. This is democracy in action. I feel confident. I fell that our machinery is working and I think we have the support of the constituency so in the end I am positive that we will win.”



“Would you dare make any predictions at all? The Minister of Tourism has said two to one.”


Dean Barrow

“No I wouldn’t go that far. I am a conservative fellow.”



“He said he was being conservative.”


Dean Barrow

“My goodness…suppose he weren’t.”


Anthony Sabal

Both candidates were also optimistic early this morning. The U.D.P.’s Frank “Pawpa” Mena is the veteran, while the P.U.P.’s Anthony Sabal is the newcomer, who’s actually only been on the campaign trail for three weeks.


Anthony Sabal, P.U.P. Candidate, Dangriga

“As usual, I’m upbeat, it is very good. We’ve been out early this morning. The machinery is well oiled; my people have been out here from very early ready to go.”


Mike Rudon

“So you are still predicting a victory? We spoke to you last night and you said you are predicting a victory.”


Anthony Sabal

“More so when you see this morning because today is the day. And when you see the machinery in action, you know people are people of their word. The P.U.P. has come together; we are unified. This bye-election is very important and from north, south, east and west, our P.U.P. family came in to make sure it is a victory.”


Mike Rudon

“Is the U.D.P. machinery in place and functioning?”


Frank “Pawpa” Mena

Frank “Pawpa” Mena, U.D.P. Candidate, Dangriga

“Functioning and functioning well Mike. We’ve put in the work, we’ve prepared specifically for this day and this noh di stop. That dah the vibes, that dah di energy and that dah weh we deh di push.”


Mike Rudon

“So the U.D.P. is bringing out its voters right now?”


Frank “Pawpa” Mena

“You bet, you bet. Normally you have a little loll….there is a rush between seven and eight and then there is a loll between eight and ten and then it takes off again and then it is off and on. But in the afternoon, we see a larger voter turning and we are trying to change that tradition and we need to check the statistics and see what’s going on there.”


Voter turnout in Dangriga in previous elections has never passed sixty percent. At four this evening, two thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, or forty-six percent of electors had cast their votes. That’s less than either side expected, and less than they hoped for.


Frank “Pawpa” Mena

“Of course it’s coming out extremely slow and I believe that that’s to my advantage because yo have wah lotta disgruntled P.U.P. because dehn shaft Ramos and the people noh di take that lightly. If dehn noh come out, it better for me too, but I woulda want a larger voter turnout. And of course I wah dig until we bring out fu we percentage weh we plan fu bring out.”


Henry Charles Usher

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

“The only thing I’m a little disappointed about is the turnout at the polling station itself in terms of the numbers. Really as you can see here we have a nice crowd showing here at Holy Ghost, but if you travel to other areas, it won’t be the same. But that will grow this afternoon.”


Supporters from both sides remained engaged all day, sometimes too much so. This morning there was a minor skirmish which resulted in the Special Patrol Unit being called in to move muscle from both sides away from the hundred yard line.


And then there was another skirmish in Hope Creek between the U.D.P.’s Gaspar Vega and his political opponent, Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes.


Henry Charles Usher

“I was actually out there Mike and what happened was that “Monchi” as bringing in a voter to the polling station and other camp tried to muscle that voter away from him and that started the altercation. It wasn’t anything other than that. It escalated from there just because of, I guess, the heightened passion out here. But it wasn’t anything too strenuous.”


Mike Rudon

“So nobody was hurt during the altercation?”


Henry Charles Usher

“Not from our side, nobody was hurt, no.”


Frank “Pawpa” Mena

“Dehn level of stupidity noh happen ina this community so that di get imported by them. This foolishness, we noh into that. dehn try grab thing off ah man vehicle and thing. I understand the tensions and thing, but noh di touch nobody because nobody dah noh yo pikney. And they have to tighten up. If dehn bring dehn stupidity from the city or weh dehn come from, noh bring that yah cause we noh live soh yah. But we wah have to defend what is for we. And we wah win this with love yon oh Mike. We wah win this with love.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.


Later in the newscast, we’ll have live reports from Dangriga as the counting gets underway.

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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2 Responses for “Anthony Sabal versus Frank “Pawpa” Mena in the Dangriga Bye-Elections”

  1. mrgrammer says:

    Is it “Papa” or “Pawpa”. All of Frank Mena’s shirts, posters, banners, etc. spell it “Papa”. Can there be some consistency?

  2. belizean a heart says:

    well well,well..we expected the win for the udp/ CORRUPT PAPA MENA.i’ve seen his name being involved in the visa/imigration scandal alongside elvin penner and edmond castro,looks like some/voters are satisfied with the crombs they are recieving from these corrupt ministers and now papa mena the corrupt in the TEAM -while the people sufffer politricians are eating ham and turkey giving a good life because of our vote, and i believe the pup need to change their LEADER its francis fonseca and musa,godfrey smith-ralph fonseca that are destroying the ‘PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY” WELL not so united anymore -after the musa devastation last elections we taught the pup will come back to power in 50 yrs then johny ‘COWARD’ bricenio came to the rescue and the fonsecas,godfrey smith,florencio marin,musa did not like johny so he was boycotted and forced to resign-” I believe thats the COWARD thing he has done,after the people had a vision-a chance again and now all that is gone! NOW who can we trust fi new leader a leader that the people will feel confident with and lift the grand old PUP,well I believe their is one man-not johny bricenio we cant’ trust him he acts like wa pickney @ times,the only chance we might have a fair way to be lead by a real leader the man would be ‘CORDEL HYDE” but just a miracle can come to have him as our leader,even though musa,fonsecas,godfrey smith,espat from cayo-will prefer the PUP to suffer another defeat after defeat…and the people pup’s will continue to suffer under dean barrow because PUP’S will not recieve a help from barrowworld!

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