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Nov 10, 2020

Toledo East features two mass parties and one independent!

And we turn now to the deep south – last week you saw Toledo West Constituency with Oscar Requena and Doctor Simeon Coc. Tonight, some twelve hours to go before polls are opened, we take a look at Toledo East where three candidates are contesting the division from the U.D.P., P.U.P. and an Independent. The U.D.P. is a new comer to the political scene and the Independent is a former town councilor and both are hoping to unseat Michael Espat who is bidding for a third consecutive term. Here’s the story:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Three candidates are contesting the Toledo East constituency. They are PUP’s Mike Espat who is seeking re-election for a fifth time. He is being challenged by long-time tourism businessman Dennis Garbutt – who is contesting electoral politics for the first time. Espat and Garbutt are being challenged by Independent candidate Orlando Muschamp who once served as a UDP Town Councilor in Punta Gorda.


Mike Espat, PUP Standard Bearer, Toledo East

Mike Espat

“I would like to thank the people of Toledo East who have placed me in this position and I think this will be the eight elections that we will be fighting against the United Democratic Party.”


Dennis Garbutt, UDP Standard Bearer, Toledo East

“I understand the needs of what’s going on. Politics? I was never looking forward to being a politician. I still don’t think I am a politician. I just think that the people of Toledo East need more than what is happening for us. We feel as if though we have no representative in Belmopan when it comes to having what we have right now as an area representative.”


Orlando Muschamp

Orlando Muschamp, Independent, Toledo East

“Orland Muschamp has been active in Punta Gorda as an activist since 1984 since I came out of high school. I have been trending the two parties seeing the goods and services that they offer to the people of this country and I have come to realize that the two parties win on election night and they are off to Belmopan and here in the Toledo East we are lack of representation.”



Geographically, Toledo East is one of the largest constituencies – made up of remote villages, coastal communities, as well as the town. There are six-thousand eight hundred and thirty one electors. The candidates say there are concerns about farm roads; market for products; crime; and youth resources.


Dennis Garbutt

“I would look at road; the health care situation and you look at simple marketing for their products. The people in Dolores, Crique Sarco they have cattle and they grow corn and rice and they have to smuggle it across to Guatemala. We need better trade; better prices for our stuff. So, we need to secure these types of things for our people.”


Orlando Muschamp

“We have a high rise of crime in Punta Gorda – I would go to zero percent murder rate convictions in Punta Gorda. We are seeing our youth falling by gun point. The criminal situation in Punta Gorda because of the lack of resources put for youths in Punta Gorda. For example, the government has invested in a stadium and it is closed to the youths. The one point three or point odd million they invested in the auditorium, I see it’s closed.”


Both Garbutt and Muschamp say that the people want a change in Toledo East – for Garbutt it means out with the PUP  and in with the UDP – for Muschamp, it means defeating the two mass parties and voting in their first ever independent candidate. But for that to happen – it means defeating Mike Espat who is seeking a third back to back term – and a fifth win this time around.


Dennis Garbutt

Dennis Garbutt

“They are saying, Dennis, I am with you and I will vote for you. People are telling me, oh, we don’t want that old man again. I don’t want to hear about the other side. I want to talk about what we could do together. So, what I am feeling is very positive energy. In the south, in all the southern villages, I am feeling secure that the people are moving with me. Punta Gorda Town – that is my home base that is going to be red.  Don’t mention Barranco, Monkey River and Punta Negra – those are my little coastal communities and hold them close to my heart and they promised me that if the blue gets one or two votes in there it is going to be a log. So, I am feeling a big win in Toledo East.”


Orlando Muschamp

The sentiment of the people is that they are dearly tired of the PUDP system. I see rejection from both sides. Let’s do it peacefully; let’s do it responsibly; let’s vote for the persons and not for the parties. Enough is enough. We need change.

You don’t need to get mixed up – you don’t look on the top’ you don’t look on the middle – you just go to the bottom – Brown – there you have it Orlando Muschamp, Toledo East Independent.”


Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

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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