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Mar 4, 1999

P.U.P. takes City Council

Six months after massacring the Opposition in nationwide general elections the People’s United Party proved that its victory was no fluke. Amassing almost sixty percent of the total number of votes the P.U.P. installed a mayor and full ten member Belize City Council. The voting, which was largely along party lines, saw a former Mayor, David Fonseca defeat Anthony “Boots” Martinez in the city’s first direct election for mayor. The ten winning P.U.P. councilors, in order of popularity, are Marshall Nuñez, Raymond Cox, Gus Perera, Eloisa Trujeque, Danny Madrid, Lillette Barkley Waite, Darrell Carter, Yasmin Shoman, Merilyn Young and Austin Waight. Newcomer Patrick Faber topped the polls for the defeated U.D.P. slate, with veteran candidate Myrna Manzanares running close behind. The P.U.P. trend was evident early on as the votes were slowly tallied at Belize City Centre. There were few surprises as the P.U.P. rolled up majorities in the eight city constituencies where they now hold seats in the House, while losing only in the U.D.P. strongholds of Mesopotamia and Queen’s Square. The margin of victory left little room for doubt over the mood of Belize City voters. A look at the results from the 1996 City Council election, 1998 general elections in Belize City and yesterday’s poll shows a remarkably consistent split between blue and red in the city running approximately 60-40 for the P.U.P. If there was any consolation in the numbers for the losers it was that their citywide margin of defeat narrowed ever so slightly, shrinking by 1.7 percentage points during the six months between the August twenty seventh general election and March 3rd Citco poll. And it will be difficult for the U.D.P. to claim that low turnout indicated widespread voter dissatisfaction. Despite early signs of dismal attendance, preliminary statistics indicate that a respectable 57.3 percent of registered voters exercised their franchise, a significantly higher number than in the last two municipal elections. Even if you factor in the difference between the old bloated voters list and the more up-to-date version there can be little room to deny that the People’s United Party has a massive mandate to govern.

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