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Oct 23, 2020

Miss D Challenges Cordel for Lake-I

The Deputy Party Leader of the P.U.P., Cordel Hyde is also the representative for Lake Independence and one of the most popular and successful politicians; he has represented that constituency for four terms.  Lake Independence is the safest constituency for the P.U.P. in the south side of the city. In fact, of the six divisions in the south side, five are held by the U.D.P.; Lake Independence is the exception.  This election, a political rookie is testing the waters and going up against the powerhouse in Lake I.  Today, News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed to the division and caught up with Dianne Finnegan, who is running for the U.D.P.  


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Lake Independence, represented in parliament for the past five years by seasoned politician Cordel Hyde, is seeing its first female candidate since the constituency was created in 1984.  Since its establishment thirty-six years ago, Lake-I has developed considerably.  Its voting population, however, has seemingly shrunken since 2015 when it boasted over six thousand, three hundred registered electors.  As of July 2020, the list of eligible voters stood at roughly four thousand, three hundred.  Attempting to unseat Hyde, is United Democratic Party candidate Dianne Finnegan.


Dianne Finnegan

Dianne Finnegan, U.D.P. Candidate, Lake Independence

“I’ve been offered other constituencies.  My husband, himself, stepped down from [Mesopotamia].  I don’t want anything that anyone gives to me, I want to work for everything and I want to earn what I have and be able to stand boldly and say, “with a team who trusted me, believed in me, I accomplished.”


That achievement for Finnegan, a political newcomer, means pulling off arguably the greatest political upset since Derek Aikman toppled former Prime Minister George Price in Pickstock in 1984.  It’s a monumental task by any stretch, setting out to dethrone Hyde from what has become a sure seat for the People’s United Party.


Dianne Finnegan

“It doesn’t matter who runs in what constituency, you could be very wealthy, you could be well-known, if the people don’t want you, they don’t want you.  So I don’t measure where I’m at based on who I’m going up against.  My thing is, are the people comfortable where they’re at and if they are then they’ll stay with who they know.  But if they want greatness, if they want to uplift themselves, if they want to bring back dignity within their constituency then they will give Miss D a try.”


Four-time Area Representative Cordel Hyde has respectfully declined participation in our campaign trail coverage.  On Thursday morning, the deputy party leader delivered opening remarks at the P.U.P. manifesto launch.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, P.U.P. Candidate, Lake Independence

“This is not about building bridges and buildings, it’s about building people and listening to people, hearing their concern, feeling their pain, their blighted hope, seeing what’s left when hope unborn had died.  It’s about the dirt road and no road, the mud floor and broken down windows, about sleeping on wet floors and breathing in sick air, about people having crocodiles for neighbors while next door the government builds a twenty-five million dollar building.  It’s about prioritizing the people who need our help the most.”


In some places, those people, his constituents included, have grown wary of that rhetoric.  Residents say that for years this area of Lake Independence has been neglected by both political parties.


Lewis Michael Lee

Lewis Michael Lee, Resident, Lake Independence

“I di lend my support to di people dehn weh di look fi support me and do weh I need, weh I need fi have eena my, eena our lives, bredda.  We went and vote and these people have wahn job to do arite, and that da weh we wahn dehn do.  We wahn dehn gih we infrastructure.  We deh da back ya fi years and years, fu we cries go pan lone deaf ears.  Ih noh go to nobody until this lady just come and decide fi do weh ih di do.”


…and that’s repairing a dirt road that is the only means of access to this dead-end.


Heidi Hernandez

Heidi Hernandez, Resident, Lake Independence

“My experience living back here is very… at the same it’s very happy because I’m trying to do my own land, but it’s very sad because we’re living in a mess.  As you can see, we have a lot of garbage all around and it’s not a good environment for our kids.  I have three kids and it’s very difficult.  I go to church and every time I go to church, well when I used to go to church, it’s very difficult for them to walk outside on the street.  It’s muddy on the street and I am very excited that something is happening.  You know, sometimes you have to wait way until election comes so that you can see something happening in your area.  Hopefully we see more progress in Belize and especially my area that really needs to be fixed.”


From the podium at the manifesto launch, their area representative spoke with passion about the need to empower all Belizeans through land ownership.


Cordel Hyde

“It’s about giving every Belizean a stake in this country; land for the youth,land for women, land for the public officers and teachers, land for everyone who doesn’t have a land.  It’s about land for the landless.”


November eleventh, for both candidates, will be a testing time when the degree of their success or failure at campaigning and delivering those messages will be revealed. 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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