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Aug 10, 1998

Fernandez and Leslie contest Cayo North

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While voters may or may not stop to study the respective political manifestos, many candidates are relying on good old-fashioned house to house campaigning to win the hearts, minds and votes of the electorate. Nowhere is that more true than in the constituency of Cayo North where the two major candidates are both hard at work. Patrick Jones asked them each for a few words on how the race is progressing.

Ainslie Leslie, P.U.P., Cayo North

“Well, I am campaigning on the issue of more employment because right now, the nation’s unemployment rate is very, very high. We’re campaigning on also, elimination of VAT and burdensome taxes, more housing for people, affordable education and better health care.”

Salvador Fernandez, U.D.P., Cayo North

“The number one issue: trust. It’s all about trust.”

Q: That’s it?

Salvador Fernandez

“That’s it. Trust and the basic thing is that the people trust Manuel Esquivel and the U.D.P. to take us through the little problem, or the problems we will encounter through the twenty-first century. That we will encounter a lot of different problems yes, but the people are confident that myself and Manuel Esquivel can encounter those problems. My good service to the people, my commitment to the people, my continuous and dedicated service to them. I have dedicated myself, my hard work will prove itself on election day. And I am ready.”

Ainslie Leslie

“Well, first of all I have never had a chance to represent the people. Mr. Fernandez has been in power for fifteen years and the general opinion is that he hasn’t done anything for the people of his area. I am a new candidate and as everybody knows in Cayo North, I am a guy who works hard and I will deliver on my promises to the people.”

Q: “How serious a threat is Ainsle Leslie to your campaign?”

Salvador Fernandez

“I, seriously, I have no opponent. I will beat him. I will definitely beat him. I feel confident. I will win.”

Q: “So you will go back to Belmopan?”

Salvador Fernandez

“Count me in.”

Ainslie Leslie

“Well, I tried before in 1993 and I guess people know who I am and I think that that will help me.”

Q: “For the past couple of terms, they have been electing a U.D.P. representative, but if you notice, the margin of victory has been steadily decreasing, do you envision that will continue?”

Salvador Fernandez

“Well, I tell you something, listen election night and you will notice, this time the People’s United Party cannot swamp the list. The last time they swamp the list with over three hundred and eighty six foreign voters which they illegally registered. Ask them this time about it. Belizeans, hundred percent Belizeans, will be voting. I hope you listen to it. Then you ask me questions after that.”

Q: “What will you offer, not only Cayo North, but the rest of the country if you’re elected to office?”

Ainslie Leslie

Okay, we’re offering more jobs, better health care, housing, and overall better government.”

Cayo North, with over five thousand registered voters, is the second 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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