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#325166 - 02/24/09 03:44 PM National municipal elections
Marty Online   happy
There are political campaigns going on in all six districts of Belize, as well as in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, for City (Belize City; Belmopan) and Town (Corozal; Orange Walk; San Ignacio/Santa Elena; Benque Viejo del Carmen; Dangriga; Punta Gorda; San Pedro Ambergris Caye) Council elections on Wednesday, March 4.

If we are to judge from the Belize City campaign, these are low budget, low key exercises. Both the two major political parties have exposed divisions at high leadership levels, and the voters in the old capital do not seem very enthusiastic about the campaign.

The wrangling inside the incumbent UDP Belize City Council leading up to last October’s candidate convention was personal, and it was ugly. The principals have largely closed ranks to meet the enemy, but they are fooling very few people.

These will be new PUP Leader Johnny Briceno’s first national elections, and the most interesting aspect of the PUP situation, to our mind, has been the personal attacks on Briceńo in the Said Musa/Ralph Fonseca newspaper which is published by Omar Silva. Exactly what it is that Musa and Fonseca are seeking to achieve, is not clear. Silva’s newspaper includes PUP Deputy Leader Mark Espat in their attack targets, not to mention the publisher of Amandala. For sure the two “accused” are desperate for party support in their theft trials, and they are frustrated by Johnny’s hands off policy, but Musa and Fonseca have substantial financial resources in a time when money is scarce, so they may be dreaming of a return to intra-party power.

The PUP are expected to benefit from the UDP’s missteps in the cane belt with the core sampler matter, so it will be interesting to see how the voters in Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, and perhaps even San Pedro Ambergris Caye, react next Wednesday. (Even before the core sampler controversy, UDP Orange Walk area representatives, Gaspar Vega and Marcel Cardona, were known to be at loggerheads.)

Belmopan was also the scene of a bitter intra-party UDP struggle, as Cayo South area representative John Saldivar tried to unseat Mayor Simeon Lopez by sponsoring his own mayoral candidate. Mayor Lopez withstood the challenge, but bad blood remains.

The PUP do not appear very energetic in the capital city, and the VIP, who did very well in 2006 (almost 20 percent of the vote in the Town Council race), began campaigning late.

In Benque, the PUP do appear energetic. We know very little about the San Ignacio/Santa Elena twin towns.

The UDP have a problem in Dangriga. Incumbent Mayor Frank “Pawpa” Mena has declined to run again, and a Garifuna-Giao issue arose after the Giao mayoral candidate won, very narrowly. The defeated Garifuna candidate is running as an independent. Dangriga voters are always marching to their own drums, so the Dangriga results will be interesting.

Punta Gorda has a PUP Mayor but a majority UDP Town Council, which has made for all kinds of confusion since March 2006. Wil Maheia, Toledo’s rising political star, is running a People’s National Party (PNP) slate, and this newspaper is a Wil Maheia fan. We wish the PNP well.

These are the most quiet national campaigns we have ever seen. A number of things will start happening after the votes are counted, however. The most important of these things will take place within the PUP, where Johnny Briceńo will either become stronger or he will become weaker.

Prime Minister and UDP Leader Hon. Dean Barrow will have to present a national budget after the votes have been counted, and the news will not be good. Belize’s financial gorilla, Lord Michael Ashcroft, made a quick visit to Belize last week to give another national television interview to his Channel 5 employees. He is quite unhappy with Mr. Barrow, for many years one of his lawyers, but the Lord, on the other hand, was not tooting Briceńo’s horn. Again, we opine, some things will begin to change on Belize’s political landscape beginning on March 5. In the case of the March 4 national municipal elections, then, and strangely enough, the storm will come after the calm.


#326660 - 03/04/09 10:30 PM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Marty]
Short Offline
Looking where I can find the results of the Municipal Elections online.. Found these 2 possibilities so far:

Seems that they didn't care that much in Belize City with all the schandals in the present council; the turnout there was 36.8%. Guess Orange Walk cared a lot, after the violent government actions against cane farmers on strike (and probably the financial scandals in the present town board); almost 73% turnout. San Pedro: 61.04% turnout.
Originally Posted By: Orangewalk.net - March 04, 2009, 8:03 p.m.
Belize City: 38,419 Voters, 14138 Vote Cast = 36.80%
Belmopan City, 6,568 Voters, 3085 Vote Cast = 46.84%
San Pedro Town, 5,010 Voters, 3058 Vote Cast = 61.04%
Corozal Town, 6,730 Voters, 3554 Vote Cast = 52.81%
Orange Walk Town, 9,938 Voters, 7245 Vote Cast = 72.90%
San Ignacio/ Santa Elena, 10,109 Voters 5481 Vote Cast 54.22%
Benque Viejo Town, 3,855 Voters, 2756 Vote Cast = 71.49%
Dangriga Town, 4,925 Voters, 2067 Vote Cast = 41.97%
Punta Gorda Town, 3,055 Voters, 1785 Vote Cast = 58.43%
TOTALS: 88,627 Voters, 43169 Vote Cast = 48.71%
Live and let live

#326661 - 03/04/09 10:32 PM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Short]
Marty Online   happy
i'm looking too right now.... LOVEFM online is dead right now....

#326667 - 03/04/09 11:12 PM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Marty]
Short Offline
Looking at your post, Marty it looks like UDP is on the winning hand in San Pedro. Orange Walk promises to be an exciting race, when you look at the poll on Orangewalk.net:
Originally Posted By: Orangewalk.net Poll
How will you be voting on March 2009 in Orange Walk Town?
PUP7: 805 = 47%
UDP7: 773 = 45.1%
UDP Mayor with split: 69 = 4%
PUP Mayor with split: 67 = 3.9%

Number of Voters: 1714
First Vote: Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:25
Last Vote: Wednesday, 04 March 2009 20:13
Live and let live

#326689 - 03/05/09 08:13 AM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Short]
Marty Online   happy
here's the official results of the March 4, 2009 municipal elections in Santa Elena/San Ignacio as released by Returning Officer, Hugo Miranda.

#326706 - 03/05/09 09:18 AM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
The UDP Won all Town Councils except Orange Walk Town where there is a split Town Council with a UDP Mayor and 3 UDP Councillors and 3 PUP Councilors.

#326775 - 03/05/09 01:03 PM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Belmopan City Council Results 2009


thanks to Alberto August of The Star

#326818 - 03/05/09 03:42 PM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
I think the low voter turnout in Belize City is because PUPs and the swing voters in the last general election are still disillusioned by the party and their new candidates were not interesting and was not easy for a UDPs for vote again for the current Mayor Moya, but could for the councilors on their slate. Big turnout from the Chinese community for Eric Chang. I worked at one of the polling stations and hardly any of the Chinese could speak English, but knew enough to vote for Chang. PUP threw alot of money into Orange Walk, home of Johnny Briceno, Leader of the Opposition, so he worked the area hard. But thought the UDP would do worse in OW following the mess with the caneros and BSI last month, so was surprised they did so well. Overall, a good election and for us, figures like 48% voter particpation is low for city council elections, but I think thats about what the figures are for US general elections, not including the last very exciting election.
Belize based travel specialist

#327124 - 03/07/09 09:48 AM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Katie Valk]
Short Offline
The Orange Walk Mix-Up

There is an update to the municipal election result in Orange Walk to report tonight. It doesn’t shift the balance of power but while we reported the United Democratic Party’s David Constanza, Joel Enrique Madera, and Xenia Enid Morales were on the ticket – it turns out that Eduardo Leiva didn’t make the cut.

The Elections and Boundaries Department says that after reviewing data – it turns out that instead of Eduardo Leiva, the UDP’s Joel Enrique Madera made the cut. It doesn’t shift the balance of power since the UDP’s Phillip de la Fuente is still the Mayor while the PUP’s councillor candidates Rozel Arana-Flores, Jose Carballo, and Kevin Bernard won seats on the town council.

And in a correction to a figure we reported last night – while we told you that the UDP’s margin of victory in the Mesopotamia Division was by an average of 400 votes – it was actually by 995 votes. At the end of polling, Area Representative and Housing Minister Michael Finnegan had projected that it would be 945.

Live and let live

#327243 - 03/08/09 11:50 AM Re: National municipal elections [Re: Short]
Marty Online   happy

Elsa Strong, for Three More Years

Elsa Paz once again made history during the early morning hours of Thursday, March 5, 2009, as it was announced the she and her UDP candidates had won the majority of votes for the third consecutive time in the Municipal Elections to assure them three more years as the administrators of the San Pedro Town Council.

“I am extremely happy at this moment,” commented Elsa Paz to the crowd that had gathered at the San Pedro High School waiting for the election results. “I made history by being voted the first female mayor of the town and once again my councilors and I make history as the UDP wins the municipal elections for the third time in a row.”

Mayor Paz dedicated this last win to her deceased mother whom she says was by her side during all of her campaigns. “My mother, when she was alive, was with me throughout all my campaigns and was part of my strength to go forward. I dedicate this win to her; may her soul rest in peace.”

Despite a low turnout throughout the country of Belize, the United Democratic Party (UDP) defeated the People’s United Party (PUP) and all the other parties and Independent candidates who contested the nationwide municipal elections in a landslide by winning 64 out of 67 seats; the PUP won three seats in Orange Walk Town.

The UDP won all seats in Corozal Town, Belize City, San Ignacio Town, San Pedro Town, Belmopan City, Benque Viejo Town, Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town. This time around, they won all the Mayoral seats including the Mayoral seat in Punta Gorda Town which they lost in the last municipal election.

Election 2009 Goes Red Again

City and Municipal Elections 2009 have been rocking from side to side as early as mid-year 2008 during the conventions of both political parties. In the Red Camp there has been division in San Pedro, Belize City and Dangriga where Mayor Mena was not functioning. While the PUP has been struggling to come out of several scandals, the UDP was just beginning to open its scandal box after about one year of UDP in Central Government.

In San Pedro it was alleged corruption with land sales by a few councilors and no accounts of the incomes or expenditures. There was division between the mayor and some councilors and the executive.

In Belize City it was UDP Mayor Moya alleged to have over paid herself, and making payments to her brother for jobs that were never done and again no reports of accounts. The accusations came from her deputy mayor and former employees in high ranking positions. In the north the UDP came into ill repute with their handling of the cane farmer’s strike that resulted in the killing of a cańero.

But the campaign speculations have come to an end with the results of March 4, elections. And the people have spoken… and spoken very clearly. This is the first municipal election of new Prime Minister Barrow after coming into power just over a year ago.

However, the members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) should try and analyze why many Belizeans did not come out and vote. If they fail to deliver in the next four years while they are in control of the two governments, the Belizean people could get angry and vote them out of power in the next General Election which will be held in the year 2013.

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