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Feb 6, 2023

Were People Being Paid to Vote at Sunday’s Convention?

Was there hanky panky taking place during Sunday’s convention in Belmopan? It’s not uncommon to hear about homes or building with long lines near polling stations, and Sunday’s convention was no different. Our camera captured unusual activity about a block away from the U.B. Gymnasium. People wearing political shirts gathered inside a yard where a long line waited for individual attention and some kind of exchange. To be clear, the location was not a voting site. While we cannot verify what was exchanged, why people waited in the snaking line, or if anything untoward was taking place to pervert the election process, we did put the question directly to the politicians – on whether or not voters were getting paid to vote in favour of any of the candidates.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Belmopan

“Yes I was aware, but I was always confident that that would not influence the outcome.  I have a theory in politics, being in politics for the last thirty years, you can never get a person or a voter to vote for you even with money, if that person does not want to vote for you. So it doesn’t work.”


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Chairman

“The Belizean people, let me put it this way, I am confident of this. The Belizean people are not for sale. You can’t pay nobody to vote in any direction. People are known historically to take your money and vote the other way, so money doesn’t determine election. The people will vote for who they want to vote for, no matter what incentives you try to give them or whatever game you try to bring. When it is all over, people will enter that booth – that’s why they say the sanctity of that voting booth – when you go into that voting booth, it is just you and that pen and that ballot and you will be the one to determine how you vote. Nobody can make you vote in any direction.”

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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