A new political party has emerged in Belize. With the 2015 general elections only days away, the former third parties that include the People’s National Party, the Vision Inspired by the People and the We the People Movement in Corozal, merged to form the Belize Progressive Party.
They presented themselves this morning to the media and named eleven candidates. The leader is Patrick Rodgers, Wil Maheia is the Deputy Leader, Paco Smith is Party Chairman and Charles Leslie is the Public Relations Officer.
Paco Smith - BPP Chairman
“Your Belize Progressive Party is not here to replace the UDP nor the PUP our purpose is to change the game in effect no game shall be playing for this party represent a new Belize political consciousness in which governance is inclusive and not selective as it is currently in practice by the power at being. I submit that our slogan 8867 today 8867 tomorrow and 8867 forever is not only demonstrative to our commitment to ensuring Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity it is also our rallying call to all Belizeans and through friends of Belize irrespective of your whereabouts to take the proverbial lethal state and join us in this meaningful and necessary effort to save the nation of Belize now before we lose it.”
The only woman in the team is Edna Diaz representing Corozal Southeast. The others are Lucilo Teck for Corozal South West, Adan Palomo for Corozal North, Hipolito Bautista for Orange Walk South and Roy Rodriguez for Corozal Bay.
There are two candidates for the Cayo District, Charles Leslie for Belmopan and Andrew Williams for Cayo South. In the Belize District, Robert “Bobby” Lopez will once more represent the Belize Rural South division, while Ion Cacho will run in Pickstock and Patrick Rogers will contest the Collet seat. Wil Maheia is the only candidate for the south representing Toledo East. .
“The win when it comes it won’t be for Patrick, it won’t be for Brother Charles, Brother Bobby, brother Wil, it won’t be for any of the candidates, or for any of the executive members but it will be a win for Belize, for the people of Belize and for that to happen you have to take ownership of this Belize Progressive Party, you invest money or you invest time in business we call it sweat equity so we will win when enough Belizeans understand they need to invest some sweat equity in this new Belizean consciousness, we will be going door to door but we will not have any money to go into our pockets and say hold here, that is not how we operate you will not be taking ownership of this party if we are doing that who would take ownership is the one have we accepted the half a million dollars because when and we had to explain that we are not about forming a liberal party here in Belize we are not about forming a liberal party that would have gladly accepted the half a million dollars, we are about forming a labor movement so our philosophy is based on labor.”
Candidate Robert “Bobby” Lopez addressed the gathering and said that transparency in relation to campaign financing is one of the BPP’s central policies.
Mr. Robert “Bobby” Lopez
“We have always published our campaign financing, we have always challenge both parties to do the same and up to today after 34 years we have not seen a budget for any one of them we have not seen a financial report for anyone of them, we don’t know where the money comes from, we don’t know how the money is spent, but we know as the Prime Minister said on February 26th 2008 when he was asked by Adele Ramos, Mr. Prime Minister what are you going to do about campaign finance legislation and his very words were this; how can we stop the big boys from giving money under the table and I want to ask the Honorable Prime minister who is on the other side of the table taking the money because that is the root of corruption and that is why we are here in this mess, the Belize Progressive Party will stop the big boys from taking money under the table because we will owe nobody, no concession, no land, no tax free holiday.”
The BPP announced that they will need half a million dollars in campaign financing. The Party called on 100 business people to donate 4 thousand 3 hundred 26 dollars in support. Leaders add that so far, the party has 15 thousand dollars to get its campaign going. The BPP will prepare their progressive plan or manifesto and are also willing to have an open convention to elect a final party leader. They are yet to finalize their party constitution.
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