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Jan 29, 2003

Bradley targets Barrow in Queen’s Square

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Like most Belizean elections, the one in March is being fought over broad national issues. But, as in every campaign, certain constituency races have emerged as key battles in the overall war. Over the next five weeks we’ll focus on some of these high profile races and candidates that, for better or worse, are becoming symbols of the nationwide contest. Tonight News 5′s Jacqueline Woods talks to a candidate who, despite never being elected to any office, needs no introduction.

Dickie Bradley, P.U.P. Candidate, Queen’s Square

“Well noh care what Minster Barrow does the people in Queen’s Square have seen through him, his time is up. The funny kind ah campaign he’s carrying on in Queen’s Square will not help him. To use the words of one of his own candidates, tek ih money and vote ‘gainst ah.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Strong sentiments expressed by the P.U.P. Standard Bearer for the Queen’s Square Division, Richard “Dickie” Bradley. In 1998, Bradley lost the division by forty-seven votes. This second time around, he is even more determined to beat the area representative and U.D.P. leader, Dean Barrow. Bradley says that victory will be based on the hard work he has been able to accomplish in the past four and a half years.

Dickie Bradley

“Just over there is a park and a playground that we literally built from out of the bush on Curassow Streets. We have in fact put in a computer laboratory, there’s a multi-purpose basketball court right here at Queen’s Square Anglican, we’ve assisted with the canteen, we’re giving them additional land so that they can expand. There are nine hundred and twenty-seven students at Queen’s Square Anglican. On Monday, Prime Minister will come at St. Ignatius and he will inaugurate a basketball court that we have built there. There are one thousand, one hundred students at St. Ignatius, one of the largest primary schools. We have put in a health care with doctor, nurse, and dentist. On Monday Prime Minister will open the Queen’s Square fire station, which is something crucial to protect property in the neighbourhood. We have built a whole college, taken a juvenile jail, which used to be the hostel, and turn it into a high school, where today only three years after, three hundred and seventy-eight children, who otherwise would probably not have received a college education. There is a modern post office in that facility, the swimming pool.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Now people would say that you have been able to accomplish so much because your party is hell bent on seeing that you win over Dean Barrow, the Opposition Leader.”

Dickie Bradley

“Yes, that is part of Barrow’s propaganda to cover for the fact that for eighteen years, he’s simply is unable to put on television or in his newspaper just five things that he has done in eighteen years.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You have certainly not been shy about the way you feel about your opponent Dean Barrow and his party. But do you believe the vulgarity, the strong language is necessary, and is it affecting you and your party’s campaign?”

Dickie Bradley

“You need to look on the history of the campaign. Before 1998, certainly since 1998, myself, the civil servants who work with me, members of my family, my children have come in for some of the most vile personal attacks by Mr. Barrow and his henchman Mr. Finnegan. In terms of the coming campaign for example, they took a speech, which I spoke for about forty minutes in Orange Walk and splice up the tape to give the impression that I must be so…just to get up on a rostrum and say those things. You need to see the tape for yourself and hear what I said.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So you’re saying that everything you said…”

Dickie Bradley

“Is taken out of context. For example, I pointed out in Orange Walk, one, I always come to Orange Walk whenever the people invite me. They took out the part that’s convenient for them. I took time out to explain that in terms of Mr. Barrow and Mr. Esquivel, we must remember that fifteen percent VAT was being charged on everything in this country. The hard times we lived in, and that they were the big VAT men. They tampered with it in order to give the impression. And that is the type of thing that they excel on.”

Like any confident politician, Bradley predicts that it will be a landslide victory for him and his party. But it is the voters of Queen’s Square who will make that decision. And judging from the amount of advertising this one race has attracted, whoever wins will have spent a considerable amount of time…and money on the effort. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

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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