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Nov 12, 2020

Belize Rural South Chooses Andre Perez

In Belize Rural South, voters were intent on sending their message from very early, with first reports of long lines at all three of the polling stations from well before the polls even opened at seven. The former Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia was sent packing and into retirement by Andre Perez who broke the eighteen-year old stronghold of the U.D.P. on San Pedro. Here’s that full story.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Voters in San Pedro braved the morning sun and lined up from long before the polls even opened – visibly deciding on who they wanted to represent them in Parliament for the next five years.  Voters had two polling stations to cast their ballots on San Pedro: San Pedro High School and the San Pedro RC School, while the Cay Caulker RC School was the polling station for residents of that smaller island.  From very early on, two of the three contenders: the U.D.P.’s Manuel Heredia Junior, and the P.U.P.’s Andre Perez were busy ensuring that their machineries were in motion and that their strategies are working well to get their supporters out.  Both men were confident going in…


Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Former Area Rep., Belize Rural South

“People have started to come out in bigger numbers than this morning. People are coming in slowly, but constantly and I believe that at the end of the day, the turnout will be almost as much as the last election.”


Andre Perez, Area Rep., Belize Rural South

“I just came back from Caye Caulker. I was there for a couple of hours, I went to check there and everything is looking fantastic as well. So the figures there are showing excellent figures and the organization is the same. As I told you this morning, we are well organized and I am happy to report that in Caye Caulker is even better than right here. But of course, the big news here is the development that is happening here in San Pedro with our machinery. Although it’s kinda slowed down right now, because the heat is relentless right now—very very hot. But right now, our internal figures are showing that we are very much comfortably ahead.”


The positive momentum held through for both politicians throughout until the polls closed at six p.m.  Within the hour, ballot boxes, escorted by Police personnel, were shuttled into the San Pedro High School where counting took place.  That counting was momentarily delayed when the boat transporting the ballot boxes from Caye Caulker encountered mechanical problems.  Nonetheless, before eight p.m., those boxes made it to the counting station.

And almost as soon as the counting began, there were early indications of how it would turn out.  The Heredia camp was surprisingly quiet, while the P.U.P. camp was energetic and celebratory.  And while the official numbers were not made known until after dawn on Thursday, the two candidates provided to the media the information everyone was seeking.


Andre Perez

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Today they have spoken, we have to work together; it has to be a united San Pedro for the betterment of all. So I have already congratulated my opponent, shake hands and wish him the best. With my experience, if they need any, I am there to be able to help so long as it is in the interest of both islands. But what I have to say today is that it is a long road ahead. I believe that if the people failed me, it is not because I had not served them well or because I had not given the services and the attention; it was because they were upset with the party as a whole.”


Andre Perez

“We are closing off and a victory for the People’s United Party right here with a bang, because the records would show that this is the highest beating of a candidate ever in the history of Belize Rural South. And that in itself, it is clear that my opponent never did beat any of our P.U.P. previous opponents by that figure. And this staggering figure that we are beating him is a clear mandate that we need a change—not only here in Belize Rural South, but the entire country. But I want to remain calm and composed and focused. My aim is really to heal. We have been a very divided and polarized area.”


Heredia indicated that he will retire from active politics and return to fishing, which he loves.  The New Area Representative, Andre Perez, meanwhile, said that he will work with everyone across party political lines to improve the lives of the residents of Belize Rural South. Duane Moody for News Five.


The Belize People’s Front’s Thomas Greenwood Jr., also ran in the elections.  The official election results show that he received thirty-seven votes, while Heredia received two thousand four hundred and nineteen; and the newly-elected Andre Perez got four thousand three hundred and thirty-six votes.

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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