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Jul 24, 1998

New party announced just in time for elections

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Just when we thought the election campaign couldn’t get any more interesting, we were proven wrong. Like a crab after a rainstorm, a new party has emerged from the political muck and declared “count me in”. The Belize National Party, formed just this past Sunday, is headed by Leonard Brackett. While the B.N.P. will not be fielding a full slate of candidates, Bracket says that with just over a month to go before the August twenty seventh elections, his party will be seeking to introduce itself to the electorate more than anything else.

Leonard Brackett, Leader, Belize National Party

“I was out there meeting people. In some of these villages that basically you can see that the kids aren’t being properly fed, they don’t have clothes, they are under distress.”

Q: “But the bottom line is, I’m asking, is why form another party? Why not stick with the original party? I mean you help found the U.D.P.”

Leonard Brackett

“But I also resigned from it just before I left.”

Q: “So your party is trying to right the wrongs of the U.D.P.. Is that it?”

Leonard Brackett

“Well in a sort of way. I think that the rambunctiousness of some of the officials of the U.D.P. party as of today doesn’t lend itself for treating the public with the level of trust that the public deserve. Because actually that the power that the government officials exert, whether it be P.U.P. or U.D.P. or any P whatsoever, is a representative power on behalf of the general public who entrust them with that power and therefore the public ought not to be treated with any level of contempt, disdainment and, or, you know, with an attitude of, so what? Or like we have the power and we do just what we want and if you don’t like it, tough luck.”

Brackett who lived in the United States and has been visiting the country frequently in the last ten years, says that when he came home for good last year, he undertook a series of nationwide consultations in hopes of helping his alma mater, the U.D.P. to hold onto power. But he claims his recommendations fell on deaf ears, and that’s when Brackett says it was time to put words into actions.

Q: “You’re offering yourself in the elections on August twenty seventh, briefly, tell me what are the top two issues that the Belize National Party will be focussing its campaign on?”

Leonard Brackett

“One will be economic development for this country, as I just lastly stated – endeavoring to become a more business friendly country. And two, I think the level of services rendered in this country, in terms of public service, whether it be health, whether it be education, whether it be just services… The people might be short changed in the sense that they will not be able to have the opportunity to know more about us in time to be able to effect us, in terms of trusting us or knowing enough about us or what we are about to give us a fair shot at earning their trust. Basically it’s not something we expect to fall out of the sky that people will just go there on the day of election and just close their eyes and mark an X and that X will automatically be the X on behalf of the B.N.P. No, people in Belize are not stupid; they are an astute set of people who have dealt with politics for a long time.”

Leonard Brackett is an architect and engineer by profession. Although he would not say in which constituency he will run, the forty-year-old party leader told News Five that he will be offering himself as a candidate in the elections. The big announcement is expected in a week or so. Nomination date for all candidates is August eleventh.

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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