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Aug 12, 1998

Five candidates contest Cayo South

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If the number of candidates is any indication, it is the most hotly contested seat in the entire nation. No less than five candidates are taking the plunge in the Cayo South constituency, and tonight in our continuing series, “Elections ’98,” we’ll hear from the two who stand the best chance of winning.

John Saldivar, U.D.P. Cayo South

“Right now the number one issue is job creation, the economy and I think the United Democratic Party has proven that it is the only party that is able to deal with those issues properly.”

Agripino Cawich, P.U.P., Cayo South

“We have been campaigning in Cayo South for the last two years on the fact that people have lost hope in our political system. People have lost hope, are losing hope in democracy because of the way in which we have been governed over the past five years. And apart from that, our economy is in a mess, so there are no jobs. Our hospital has very poor facilities, there is no medication, parents cannot afford books for the school children and a lot of them are even reluctant to send their children to school. Basically people have lost hope and we have been working to revive their hope and now we consider that we have achieved that and people are looking forward to the election.”

Q: “You’re a first time candidate, do you think this will give you a better chance of winning over the P.U.P. candidate and the independent?”

John Saldivar

“Certainly it will. There is also the additional issue of my opponent not being from the area, having just moved into the area a few years ago. Me, having lived in Belmopan since the inception of Belmopan and I think that that is going to be a plus on my part.”

Agripino Cawich

“We represent a viable alternative. The next government will either be U.D.P. or P.U.P. and if I say so myself it will likely be P.U.P. We are not going to have an independent government, we are not going to have an N.A.B.R. government. So immediately, it gives my candidacy the opportunity to make more meaningful contribution within the party that will be in government.

Secondly, the issues and the philosophy that the People’s United Party have been bringing out are those that are in tune with the times and which I myself believe in and have been promoting for some time. I am a person that listens to people and throughout my life I have achieved things through listening to people and working hard. This sets me ahead of the other candidates.”

Q: “Cayo South has always, traditionally always voted blue. Why do you think they will vote red this time around?”

John Saldivar

“Because over the last few terms, Cayo South has gotten nothing from the blue in all those times that they have been in power and over the last four years, they have seen tremendous growth, unprecedented in the history of Cayo South and that with a candidate who is not even yet elected. So much more can be expected when I become elected.”

Agripino Cawich

“I believe that the message of the People’s United Party has maintained the momentum in Cayo South and made it an even bigger P.U.P. constituency. I do believe that the P.U.P. is very strong in Cayo South because we are addressing the issues in our campaign and our party is setting the pace in the same type of campaign. We have conducted a clean campaign. If you notice we have been talking about building. The U.D.P. have been talking about destroying.”

Q: “What will John Saldivar the representative, if elected, offer the people of Cayo South?”

John Saldivar

“Continued development that has been taking place in Cayo South and Belmopan over the last four years. I think that I have shown the constituency that there is a new brand of politics, that I am trying to bring. And certainly we can expect to see more progress and development in Cayo South.”

Q: “What are the things that you will offer, not only Cayo South, but the rest of the nation if elected?”

Agripino Cawich

“My field is particularly agriculture. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology and a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona in plant protection. I have twenty-two years experience in conducting research in agriculture, establishing, managing agricultural enterprise and in management of people. I will bring to the new government, this ability and this experience and I will be able to translate this into more jobs for Cayo South and better agriculture direction for Cayo South and for the country.”

Q: “So you’re not taking Agripino Cawich seriously at all?”

John Saldivar

“No, we certainly have to take him seriously. I don’t think we can underestimate any of our opponents. What I am saying though is that I feel confident that the record that I have shown in Cayo South over the last four years will stand up to the scrutiny.”

The other candidates running in Cayo South are independent Ismael Garcia, Melvin Hulse Senior for N.A.B.R. and the P.D.P.’s Rudolfo Lopez. With approximately five thousand, two hundred voters, Cayo South is the largest constituency in the nation.

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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