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Nov 12, 2020

The Red Hills of the West Now Blue as the P.U.P. Wins All Six Seats in the Cayo District

The victory was sweet in Cayo. The famous red hills there were toppled as a blue tsunami swept across the west. For the first time, the P.U.P. won every seat, six in all, from Belmopan to Cayo West and everything in between. Those who once appeared unbeatable were crushed under the weight of the well-oiled P.U.P. machinery ushering in a team of seasoned and first time representatives. Duane Moody has the following report.  


Duane Moody, Reporting

As the blue wave swept over the country, divisions that were considered strongholds for the United Democratic Party flipped – the electorate cast their votes in favour of the People’s United Party and with that what was traditional referred to as the red hills of the west turned blue. All six seats in the Cayo District are now being held by P.U.P. area reps.

The once powerful John Saldivar of the U.D.P., whose name has been mired in corruption, was taken down by Oscar Mira, a retired military officer who has been working the division for years.


Oscar Mira

Oscar Mira, Area Rep., Belmopan

“We have won Belmopan; we have delivered Belmopan for the People’s United Party. We are feeling excited. I would like to thank the voters of Belmopan who came out in big numbers today to give me that vote of confidence; to give me that vote of you know what, we need new leadership in Belmopan and that leadership is with Oscar Mira. I have given a lot of my life to the service of this country and now I am giving it for Belmopan and it really feels good.”


Also considered strongholds for the now opposition party, the U.D.P., were the Cayo Central and Cayo West divisions. Rene Montero and Erwin Contreras – two senior politicians – were taken down by Alex Balona and Jorge “Milin” Espat, rookies in the political field.


Jorge “Milin” Espat

Jorge “Milin” Espat, Area Rep., Cayo West

“This sets a precedent. For more than twenty-two years, Contreras has been in power, neglecting this constituency. First of all, I thank God to give us this victory. I thank my family, my wife, my children and Doctor Amin Hegar for the support and being there with me. All my team, my committee, the people of this constituency, the residents – I give them thanks. The victory is not mines; the victory is for the residents of Cayo West.”


Meanwhile, Cayo South and Cayo North  Eastwere two divisions that were already held by P.U.P. candidates; Julius Espat and Orlando “Landy” Habet were able to retain their seats by huge margins.


Orlando “Landy” Habet

Orlando “Landy” Habet, Area Rep, Cayo North East

“I believe we are close to a thousand four hundred and thirty votes ahead, so we won by that margin. We won in all four polling areas; I believe even Esperanza which we had never won before, this time the people of Esperanza Village came through for us. It just denotes the fact that the people of Esperanza have been denied an opportunity to progress for so many years. They got tired of it.”


In Cayo North, however, the U.D.P. area rep and former Minister of Environment, Omar Figueroa was replaced by Michel Chebat. Long before the announcement was made, Chebat indicated that he was being favoured, from the polling of voters, to come out on top.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Area Rep., Cayo North

“We feel like we have a little advantage out here today. Most of the people that are coming out are giving us a thumbs up and are saying that they will be supporting us.”


Duane Moody 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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