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Jan 6, 2003

Elrington brothers will run as independents

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Traditional political wisdom in Belize holds that the chances of success for any third party or independent candidate are somewhere between slim and none…and slim just left town. But despite the hard lessons of history, there has never been a shortage of brave men and women ready to beat the odds. Today I sat down with the two latest political daredevils: a pair of brothers who are no strangers to the voters or the media.

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Independent Candidate, Pickstock

“I thought when I lost the last election… I firmly believe that I lost that election because of my association with the U.D.P. That was election where the people wanted to get completely and totally away from the U.D.P.”

Hubert Elrington, Independent Candidate, Lake I

“I have said long ago that PUP is a bunch of criminals that have gone into politics. I seriously believe that. They are just totally dishonest.”

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Meet the brothers Elrington…who announced late last week their intentions to run as independent candidates in the upcoming general elections. Hubert against Cordel Hyde and Tony Leslie in Lake Independence; Wilfred versus Godfrey Smith and Diane Haylock in Pickstock.

Q: “Now traditionally the Elringtons have been associated with the United Democratic Party, why leave now?”

Hubert Elrington

“I don’t do deals. It’s as simple as that. The party with which I am affiliated is not to do deals. We work for the people, not for the wealth and the strong.”

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“It is not only that the Party Leader says he doesn’t want Hubert. The Party Leader says he doesn’t want Fuller. The people put Fuller there, the Party Leader says he doesn’t want Fuller, he change Fuller and put Marilyn Williams. The people elect Kenny Morgan in Pickstock; the Party Leader says no, we noh want Kenny Morgan. He had problem with Fernandez, he says, tell the people in Cayo we don’t want Fernandez. He tells them we noh want Dito Juan. It is not that the party comes together and says, well you people have been accused of such and such a thing, we think these things are harmful to the party and therefore in a democratic way, we are giving you a chance to answer to these charges and to defend yourself. That doesn’t happen, one man says we don’t want this one, we don’t want this one. And there seems to be nobody in the U.D.P., who can in fact say anything counter to that.”

Hubert Elrington

“The United Democratic Party is an extremely good party. It has some extremely good people and extremely good beliefs, but the rut hath set in, and the party found it impossible to deal with that situation.”

Janelle Chanona

“Given the precedence of independent candidates being unsuccessful come election time, how confident are you that you will be able to win your respective seats?”

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“The U.D.P. presence [in Pickstock] has been Sedi…nobody else, not Dean, not Manuel. I would be prepared to bet my last dollar that Dean has not made three trips in Pickstock in the last fifteen years and met with the Pickstock people, nor really has any other person in the U.D.P. They certainly have met with the U.D.P. people…the people who have been sent in here to represent these people are people who are being imposed upon them in much the same way in which representatives are being imposed in other divisions and causing tremendous problem.”

“Yes, I believe that I can win and I believe that I will win. But that is no longer my important question. My own resolve is that my country and its safety and security is just too important now for me to stay out of the political process. Win, lose, or draw I will continue to be in the process.”

Hubert Elrington

“I will stay in there, I will work. I am going to be there morning, noon and night and I am going to have an idea every minute that I am in there because I’m idea driven. So I get along very well with the people of Lake Independence…”

Janelle Chanona

“But you do have a reputation of being a loose canon right? Or is that an unfair nickname bestowed?”

Hubert Elrington

“In my situation, they have called me all kinds of names because I do not follow the beaten path.”

But it takes as much money as confidence to win an election.

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“Belizean people are not stupid, I will tell you this. You know what is gonna happen; those who have long pockets will give monies on election day. The people are going to take the monies and the people are going to vote against them. Because the people know that after election day they won’t see them.”

Hubert Elrington

“We can put this government under control or whichever government goes there under control. But you need to make sure that none of them get more than fourteen. If you can work it this time that no party after the election has more than fourteen seats, you have put your government under control, you have reduced the government to a manageable organisation. You have put the government for the first time, under the control of the people and automatically, from the next day, you will see trucks in the area filling the land, you will see them doing low cost housing, you’ll see them setting up an education system, because as my brother has said, you have to develop the human resource.”

Most political observers contacted by News 5 believe that the candidacies of the Elrington brothers virtually guarantee that the People’s United Party will be victorious in the Lake I and Pickstock constituencies.

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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