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Aug 31, 2020

Last Call for Voter Transfers, Thousands Line Up Across the Country

Here in Belize City, the machineries of the two major political parties made a last big push to get voters on the list for the general elections due in November. While registration continues, today marked the end of the transfer period so lines snaked at the Elections and Boundaries offices.  Here is News Five Isani Cayetano.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The battle for Queen Square is underway in earnest, with candidates from both major political parties offering themselves for the first time on the national stage.  For the United Democratic Party it is a succession plan where retiring Area Representative and three-time Prime Minister Dean Barrow is handing over the reins to his sister, Denise ‘Sista B’ Barrow.  She is a force to be reckoned with in this constituency where she has remained ground commander for her sibling for the better part of his political life.  Her opponent is a relative newcomer who got his feet wet in electoral politics at the municipal level in 2018.


Allan Pollard Jr.

Allan Pollard Jr., P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Queen Square

“My decision to run is definitely one where I see myself as somebody capable of taking on the strains of running this constituency, you know, bringing that constituency home to the P.U.P. and away from the bondage that it has been in for the past thirty years, and I am quite confident that we will deliver the constituency despite all odds, despite the history of the U.D.P. winning in this area.”


For Councilor Allan Pollard Jr. to be successful at the polls in this division, he has to gain the support of a majority of the constituents.  Today being the final day for voter transfers, not all who are eligible to cast an X on the ballot are remaining in Queen Square.


Voice of: Queen Square Voter

“I just wahn transfer because ah feel like Queen Square noh di do wahn good job fi me.  And I mi recently di work and due to di government seh dehn noh di let go nobody, di people dehn di let go from Ministry of Health and all government facilities and that da di reason I feel like I fi transfer because di government da wahn bunch a bogus.”


The relocation of that voter from Queen Square to Pickstock, for his own reasons, is a loss for both Barrow and Pollard, one they hope to make up for by moving other voters into their constituency ahead of general elections in November.  At the various offices in Belize City today, the lines are a snaking queue.  Voters are waiting patiently while braving the oppressive heat.


Allan Pollard Jr.

“The work that we are putting in right now, meeting with people and the commitment that we have gotten from the residents is overwhelming, so based on that we are feeling positive about this constituency in this election.”


Isani Cayetano

“Now today is the final day for persons to transfer or register to be a part of the Queen Square vote.  Talk to us about your observation of what’s going on here today.”


Allan Pollard Jr.

“Well today is very hectic, as you could see.  From this morning, as early as eight o’clock you have people lining up here trying to get on this list early, trying to get on this list.  Of course, it’s the last day and you know, dehn seh Belizeans like leff thing fi last minute and that’s exactly what we’re experiencing.  But it’s important for us to get our people out to make sure that for whatever reason you were out of the constituency to get them back on this list and to participate in this election.”


While the movement of voters from one electoral district to another ends today, the question, perhaps, is what bearing will the high court’s decision on the belated redistricting exercise have on where they ultimately end up.  For this disgruntled voter, he is seeking a new start in Pickstock which is also very much subject to being reshaped as a result of the pending revision.


Voice of: Queen Square Voter

“I just recently move eena di Pickstock Division, so ah di look fi sih wahn better and wahn future wid di new government weh might tek over from the old government and whosoever vote di old government and di one dehn weh noh di give we nothing, something wrong wid dehn.”


Despite one voter’s departure, Pollard is diligent on the task at hand.


Allan Pollard Jr.

“Our main thing out here is just trying to get everybody on as quickly as possible on this new list that we have going into the November elections.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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