Early this year the People’s United Party started its round of conventions to select 31 candidates to contest the upcoming general elections. It’s been a long process, but in just one week the Party will be in full fighting form with all 31 candidates up and running. On Saturday the Party held 5 conventions in one venue – Fort George, Albert, Lake Independence, Mesopotamia and Queen Square. Our news team was there and filed the following report from St. Mary’s Hall in Belize City.
Yari Catzim- Reporting
Voters from the political constituencies of Lake Independence, Albert, Mesopotamia, Fort George and Queen Square all gathered on Saturday evening to endorse their choices to contest upcoming general elections.
It was a packed affair, with standard bearers from other divisions on hand to demonstrate their support.
Anthony Mahler- Caribbean Shores
“Today our economy is broken, our health system is broken, our educational system is broken, our infrastructure is broken, and our security forces are broken and corruption is rampant at all at all levels of government. Today almost everything in our country is broken so even though tonight is a good night for us here there are many issues that we have to deal with however, there is one thing that Dean Barrow has not been able to break and that is the will of the Belizean people. If it were not for you all in this room and others out there the country would have been far worse today than it already is. Even though we are a tolerant people we cannot sit by and watch the U.D.P take us further a slippery road.”
Carolyn Trench-Sandiford – Collet
“The man who use to make sure people eat, the man who made sure your kids go to school that is the man, not one term, not two terms, nor three, nor four, nor five, he is going to go six times in Fort George. Tonight is not about me so I won’t be very long; it is about you and the people who are going to represent you in the House of Representatives. I want to say to Mr. Barrow and the U.D.P come we ready for you because we are the People’s United Party bring anything you wish because we are ready for you Mr. Barrow. Tonight we are going to leave here united, one party, one people, one destiny, the People’s United Party is going to Belmopan.”
Long time area representatives Mark Espat, Cordel Hyde and Said Musa will champion the causes of the residents of the Albert, Lake Independence and Fort George divisions respectively, while Anthony Sylvestre will go up against the Prime Minister in Queen Square and political newcomer Phillip Palacio will take up the challenge in Mesopotamia.
Mark Espat- Albert
“This UDP provoke depression in Albert as also grip all four corners of our country it is wrong that while the economy and investment shrivels, crime and violence swells all over the nation. It is wrong that almost have of our citizens are cursed today by poverty, it is wrong that one in four Belizeans cannot find work to feed their families under this U.D.P Government.”
Cordel Hyde- Lake Independence
“They had four million dollars for another program they called Conditional Cash Transfer Program whereby families who have children going to school would make some money and keep their kids in school. Do you know how much they spent of those four million dollars? Thirty thousand dollars that is all they spent but last year they spent 1.5 million dollars on new vehicles and they spent 1.5 million dollars for trips abroad for the ministers and their cronies. That is what is important for them, poor people are not important to them and that is the difference between the P.U.P and the U.D.P the U.D.P does a lot of talking and we do a lot of working, the U.D.P take away jobs and we create jobs. When the U.D.P is in power everybody suffers, nothing happens and everybody complains in every sector you can think about. They said a lot of things about us but at the end of the day when P.U.P is in power everybody get’s something to eat. One hundred and forty thousand persons are considered poor in this country they can’t provide for their families but they don’t do anything about them that is why we have to be voted in that is why we have to get back to work. I want to end with this we just cannot assume that because the U.D.P is messing up that means we are going to be sent back to Belmopan, we have to be much better than them, people all over this country are disillusioned with politics. We have to be better than our word; we have to return to our roots, we have to ensure that this party stands up for the common people, that is what we have to be about in 2012 and beyond.”
Philip Palacio - Mesopotamia
“Mesopotamia we have heard your cries, we have heard your pain and the P.U.P is coming to the rescue. People in Mesopotamia are saying one thing and one thing only we are tired, for 32 years the U.D.P has been the leaders in the Mesopotamian Division. Poverty is rampant, crime is rampant we have children out of school where it was once know as a proud division where we had he hard working people of Belize City.”
And just as the former party leader Said Musa took the podium the electricity was cut off, but that did not stop this political connoisseur from delivering his message.
Said Musa- Fort George
“The U.D.P has led us down the road of crime and violence and the P.U.P will bring back justice for the people of Belize. The U.D.P are destroying everything they touch, they are destroying our economy look at the unemployment today 23% you know how many people that is, how many people are out of work, how many young people are without jobs? The P.UP will create jobs and justice for the people. Since the U.D.P took over poverty has grown in Belize, the P.U.P is going to fight poverty because we are on the side of the poor the P.U.P stands for the poor people from George Price up to John Briceno. We are for the poor we are for the majority we are for the people.”
And the man who will lead the charge as the PUP returns to Belmopan to serve the people of Belize once again….
Hon. John Briceno- PUP Party leader
“The People’s United Party is back we are back to fight Barrow and the UDP. We are here to fight for the poor people of this country that is that the P.U.P stands for to serve the people and when you look around here tonight you don’t see the big man and the rich man out here you see the poor people, the people that stand up with the P.U.P and we cannot forget you, we will not forget you when we get back to Belmopan. So ladies and gentlemen are you ready to stand up, are you ready to fight for Belize? We need to get together; we need to unite as one great party que viva el P.U.P.”
On Sunday, Dolores Balderamos Garcia emerged victorious as the new standard bearer for the Belize Rural Central Constituency. That convention was the 30th for the Party, and to round it all off the Party Leader and Orange Walk Central Representative John Briceno will be holding his convention this weekend, on Sunday July 26th at the People’s Stadium here in Orange Walk.