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Feb 25, 2021

Corozal Prepares for 2-in-1 Elections

Loose ends are being tied up by both major political parties ahead of the municipal elections next Wednesday in Corozal.  The People’s United Party is seeking another term of office under the leadership of Mayor Rigo Vellos.  The incumbent head of local government is being challenged by the U.D.P.’s Roger Arana, who has professional experience working for the Corozal Town Council.  With elections less than a week away, we got a final interview from both candidates and asked what the campaign trail has been like for each of them over the past few weeks.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The political climate in Corozal Bay is arguably twice as hot as it is in anywhere else in the country where voters are eligible to participate in the upcoming municipals.  That’s because the electorate will cast separate ballots in that constituency to choose a town council, as well as an area representative.  The campaign for the incumbent party hinges on a track record that Mayor Rigoberto Vellos says is a proud accomplishment for his team.


Rigoberto Vellos

Rigoberto Vellos, Mayor, Corozal Town

“So far the campaigning has been very positive, it’s been a couple weeks now into the campaigning and now we are one week away from the elections and I can tell you that the people have been receiving us very nicely, with kind hearts, opening their doors and we’re thankful for that.  So we are very positive that next week Wednesday, the third, we will be victorious once again for another three years.”


To remain in office for a second term, Vellos will have to convince the voting public that the mandate given to the People’s United Party in 2018 has been satisfied to the best of their ability.  This, notwithstanding sound criticism from the opposition.


Roger Arana

Roger Arana, U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate, Corozal

“We have not been promising anything, we have not been selling dreams to the residents of Corozal.  I know what we are capable of, I have a good background experience working at the Corozal Town Council and I know that we can carry out our essential functions with the revenues that we collect.”


Those revenues, the shoe being on the other foot, have been critical in allowing the present administration to meet the needs of the people, while acknowledging that there is more to be done to improve the quality of life in Corozal Town.


Rigoberto Vellos

“There is a bit of work that we still have to do and we recognize that and we listen to the people every time we walk into their homes, telling us what they would like to see get improved within our municipality and the major things have always been jobs and infrastructure.  We know we have a pandemic and when it comes to the pandemic, thanks to it, the economic life in Corozal was already a bit bad before that and with the pandemic it got a bit worse, hence the reason why it affected us negatively when it came to creating job opportunities.”


Falling short of creating meaningful employment has led to some degree of disenchantment.  The United Democratic Party is hoping to capitalize on that shortcoming.


Roger Arana

“I can say that our supporters were waiting for us and I can say that the people that do not normally support us were also waiting.  [They] are a bit disappointed about the present administration, so they were grateful for us to come by.  We have had good results, very good outcome from the campaign.”


What the Corozal Town Council is banking on is a helping hand from the Briceño administration which has promised to assist with the upgrading of streets.


Rigoberto Vellos

“We are positive and now with a friendly central government, a government that is committed to helping us and supporting us, a P.U.P. government, we are more than sure that we will deal with infrastructure.  They have committed themselves in making sure that Corozal gets its streets paved.”


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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