The UDP's convention season so far has been feisty but has not offered up many surprises. In Caribbean Shores, Carlos Perdomo fended off Roger Espejo, and in Orange Walk East, the incumbent was deposed by Orlando Burns - who was favoured by the party.

So while those two conventions pretty much followed the script - the same was not expected yesterday in Corozal Bay. A ranking minister, Pablo Marin was being challenged for the UDP's standard bearer seat by a charismatic two term mayor, Hilberto Campos. But even with those odds, you'd give Minister Marin - except - in this case - where the UDP stalwarts of Corozal Bay were backing Campos and disgusted with Marin.

Then, you'd have to say that going in - it looked pretty even. But when our team got to Corozal on Sunday Morning at ten, Marin looked much more muscular….Jules Vasquez Reports:….

Jules Vasquez Reporting
The incumbent Pablo Marin showed dominance early - at least optically - with this much larger than life banner attached to a trailer which was positioned right in front of Corozal Mayor Hilberto Campos's biggest banner with the clear intention to block it. Yeah, it was that kind of day.

And while the other candidates had their own large signs Kennard Smart even had a fancy 4x4 pickup truck - Marin was mega - his camp took up a solid block - signs alone took up about half of that block.

On the grounds and inside the civic center Marin also had more shirts and many times what counted most was who was using those shirts - or if not using - there in support of their cabinet colleague -

We counted 9 ministers - who made a showing for Pablo, while only one - Junior Herredia wore a Campos shirt…

Campos did have the support of the Mayor's association with Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers as his main greeter while Mayor Simeon Lopez also held the line.

But the City's Deputy Mayor tended to the other side and Willoughby probably hedged his bets wisely. With this image overlooking the entire event - the message to party supporters was clear: the leadership is with the incumbent - after all a sitting minister has never been dislodged as standard bearer:

Jules Vasquez
"Do you agree that in terms of the party discipline, you are a little bit out of line, this is a sitting minister. A sitting minister has never been toppled from his incumbent while in office, that audacious."

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"It's a matter that I always said, I offered myself based on my 4-5 years of service to the people of Corozal and its time for me to serve at a high capacity or its time for me to just move out of the way because I offered myself whether the people accept me or not, the fact that the minister is the incumbent that has nothing to do with it, this is a democratic process, this is the essence of democracy for my party."

And that's why all those political personalities were there, working, escorting this 82 year old voter, or wheeling this one in commandeering this voter - all to make sure that democracy didn't topple the status quo.

Jules Vasquez
"It looks like you are running against the whole cabinet."

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"Well that's a part of it too, the fact that i am facing a minister of cabinet it seems they all group up and gang up against me, they are here from the beginning of the week. They are living in Corozal for a week and I welcome them. again at the end of this convention they will disappear from Corozal so I just hope that the voter think before he vote and makes a decision base on that. Cabinet members don't vote and they are here for one purpose to push their weight around and to try have their colleague being elected in this convention."

Jules Vasquez
"Is that fair that at least a 1/3 of the cabinet comes out fully visibly and vocally in support of their colleague?"

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"Well you know we are colleagues and I am working so my colleagues know that it shouldn't happen and what they are doing is wrong. So they are just coming to support - the minister is working, come and support the person that is working."

Jules Vasquez
"If shirts were voting, you would be behind right now."

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"If the contest would be about who could spend more money I will be losing definitely, put it that way."

Jules Vasquez
"So you agree that you are have been out spent, out moneyed?"

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"Most definitely, it's obvious, I am contesting this convention and I offered myself for the people of Corozal but the unlimited financial resources that my opponent has, I cannot step up to that. I have done my campaigning and I am hopeful that the people would vote for the decision that they make without influence of all that extravagant and lucrative show that they have when it comes to shirts and signs and extra spending."

Jules Vasquez
"You have completely blitz your opposition, they are no match for you in terms of marketing. Your opponent Mr. Campos says it's because you have an endless source of money."

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"No, Campos know that when I get in its something, we do it good, we never go halfway. When we help him in his campaigning we did the same thing and we know the kind of campaigning that we do."

Jules Vasquez
"These guys are clearly out spending you, but I guess you have something up your sleeve, you must know something I don't?"

Kennard Smart, Aspirant
"I don't know anything Jules, it's what the people choose."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you confident that with all of this scenery and show around that people still know that Mr. Smart is the right person for them to choose?"

Kennard Smart, Aspirant
"Well everything is base on what God says, if God say so it doesn't matter how much money that got, still will not win."

Jules Vasquez
"I don't see any Smart t-shirts and you are not in a Smart t-shirt, you are not even a red t-shirt. I am not really understanding because while you may have your faith in God and it is a Sunday, you know politics is the affairs of man."

Kennard Smart, Aspirant
"I understand you Jules but God still control everything, absolutely everything."

The Campos camp even alleged that Marin and his allies were guilty of voter fraud:

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"The incumbent will practically do anything that is within his reach to win this convention because if I beat him I am not only beating the Minister of Health or the Minister Hon. Pablo Marin, I am beating the entire cabinet."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you saying that it hasn't necessarily been completely fair and square?"

Hilberto Campos, Mayor, Corozal Town
"No it hasn't, I have to be sincere, the intelligence have reveal all kinds of tricks that they try to pull."

UDP stalwart dint eh Bay David Akierman is Campos's campaign manager, he says he knows what those tricks are

Jules Vasquez
"Do you think voter fraud would play a consequential role, when I spoke to Hilberto Campos he felt that because of the national support that Mr. Marin has, not divisional that it has lent itself to people - interlopers coming in."

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"Definitely Jules, we had an incident Friday night where I personally went to the electoral registration office and people were being registered 7:30 in the night, we had to get Mr. Zuniga, the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer to intervene and we have the photographs of some Lebanese nationals that were in there."

Jules Vasquez
"But how does that implicate the supporters of Mr. Marin?"

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"We have reliable source that they had fax in lists."

Jules Vasquez
"Lists of people who are not from Corozal Bay?"

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"Lists has been faxed in because...."

Jules Vasquez
"Your own party is doing this Mr. Akierman?"

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"The party is allowing receipts."

Jules Vasquez
"But Campos agree to that as well."

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"Well he was hoping genuinely that it would have been people that actually visited and we have sources telling us that lists were fax in to the office."

Jules Vasquez
"Are we running a risk that this convention will be decided by interlopers - people who are not from this division?"

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"Certainly."

Jules Vasquez
"How does that make you feel?"

David Akierman, Campos Campaign Manager
"Not good, I think it doesn't the true picture of what's the United Democratic Party when it comes to democracy."

Jules Vasquez
"Your opponent Mr. Campos has alleged some level of voter fraud because he says that there are none Corozal Bay people who have been brought in by your national allies to vote. Is that true?"

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"No that is not true."

Jules Vasquez
"He says there are people from Belmopan, Port Loyola, Orange Walk North."

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"You know what they have done to me, we had a meeting and we said that everybody who is registered until the 7th can vote. They have already rejected me over 50 persons, legit persons from Corozal and he and Smart has join together to reject every single one because they know that we put more people to register than him, so he knows by that amount of people - beat him by maybe twice the amount."

Jules Vasquez
"But I thought Smart was working in the interest of Pablo Marin, I thought Smart was suppose to cut the anti-Pablo Marin sentiment, isn't that how it went?"

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"No I think he has realize that he cannot win, why he came in is because at the last convention I won by 39 votes and it's a small margin, he said I bring in 75,000 I am going to beat you, now realizing that he is not going to win - what is he doing? He is joining his other friend to try to mess me up."

Jules Vasquez
"A lot of people said that you were inserted in this race to neutralize the anti-Pablo sentiment and that you were working with Pablo to make sure that Campos don't win because if they don't like Pablo then the votes will be split between you and Campos and no individual one will have enough votes. Is that true, are you working with the Pablo Marin or on part of Pablo Marin campaign?"

Kennard Smart, Aspirant
"That is just politics. All the negative campaign is just politics."

Jules Vasquez
"But it's not true, you are on your own behalf?"

Kennard Smart, Aspirant
"I am on my own."

The disputes over with the camps those voters with receipts - meaning they were not fully registered kept coming up - resulting in visible slightly heated arguments - all with the party chairman who had to officiate it seemed like endless feuding - even when it came to calming the crowd down.

Hon. Patrick Faber, Party Chairman, UDP
"I have taken licks from all sides of course, but we try to follow the rules as much as possible. I am comfortable knowing that I am following the rules it doesn't matter who gets bent out of shape today I think that we can out it all back together afterwards."

By day's end, 2730 voters had participated - a tremendous total - fully 47% of the registered voters in the area - and when the votes were tallied Marin was sure he would have his victory:

Jules Vasquez
"There is a lot at stake Pablo, it's never happen that a sitting minister has been toppled while he is in office."

Hon. Pablo Marin, incumbent Representative
"It will not happen, don't worry. It will not happen."

Marin was right. He won by a landslide, with a margin of over 900 votes. He got 1663 votes, while Hilberto Campos got 742 votes and Kennard Smart got 297.

The next UDP convention is also a contested one; that is in Corozal Southeast where Rual Rosado - another favorite of the Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega - is challenging incumbent Sirvando Samos.

Channel 7