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#421637 - 11/11/11 05:13 AM P.U.P. names its City Council slate
Marty Online   happy

This morning at Independence Hall, the Opposition Party introduced its City Council slate. The party leader, Francis Fonseca admitted that the party is cash strapped, but that money does not get in the way of its optimism for victory at the March elections. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The campaign for City Hall in the upcoming municipal elections is officially underway as both major political organizations have publicly unveiled their roster of councilor candidates. While the People’s United Party may be a few weeks behind in this race, its leadership remains confident that the team of eleven, led by Karen Bodden, is more than capable of returning the Old Capital to its so-called glory days.

Francis Fonseca, Party Leader, P.U.P.

Francis Fonseca

“I think we have a very, very good slate. Obviously it will be a very challenging election for us across the country, the municipal elections will be, but I’m very, very proud of this team that we’ve put together. I think we have an excellent team leader in Karen Bodden. I know her, she’s a proud resident of Freetown so I know her well. She’s a woman who has served her community for many, many years. She has been at the forefront of social issues, confronting the many challenges that young people in this country face and I believe she’s sincere, she’s genuine. She’s someone who will fight everyday for the residents of Belize City and I think that’s what people want.”

Challenging Bodden for the mayoral seat is the UDP’s Darrel Bradley. Like his contender in the blue corner he too has been lauded as one for the people. Admittedly, Bradley says that winning the 2012 City Council Elections won’t be an easy feat.

Darrel Bradley

Darrel Bradley, Mayoral Candidate, U.D.P. [File: October 5th, 2011]

“The elections will likely be difficult, being in City Hall will likely be difficult, but I can say to you that this team headed by me, we have a commitment and every single day that we are on the job in City Hall, we will work hard to ensure that the lives of every single citizen will be better. It may not take us one day, it may not take us one month, it may not take us one term, but we will be there and we will have a heart for the improvements of Belize City.”

It’s a manifesto promise that has been recited ad infinitum by both political outfits including Bodden whose familiar vow this morning will be difficult to achieve.

Karen Bodden, Mayoral Candidate, U.D.P.

“What I said this morning was borne out of my conviction as to what I offer and when I look at other leaders throughout the region Belize is not the only country struggling with the economy. Throughout the region, throughout the world countries are struggling but at the same time they refuse to just lay down and play dead, and so I have no intention of doing that. I believe that as long as you are creative and you are innovative and you are motivated then you are able to look at solutions and you are able to get those solutions to work for you and to work for the people.”

Lennox ‘DJ Tambran’ Young

On her ticket is Lennox Young, popularly known as DJ Tambran. His foray into electoral politics comes after seeing Belize City, as he knows it, failing to become the metropolis that it can be.

Lennox ‘DJ Tambran’ Young, Councilor Candidate, P.U.P.

“I tiad ah siddown pan di sideline di watch how my beautiful Belize City just di go to waste, you know, and I look pan it and I tell myself if I want to make change I would have to put myself involved in it. And I tiad ah sih how my people dehn di punish and garbage and di road and everything and people just crying out for hope and di other side ah di fence dehn noh di do nothing.”

The other side of that political fence however, firmly believes that the job of addressing the city’s dire needs begins with quality leadership.

Darrel Bradley [File: October 5th, 2011]

“I believe first and foremost that leadership first must begin with integrity. At the very basic level, every single citizen of Belize City can trust that when we are there, we will have you in mind, we will think about you in the day, we will think about you in the night, we will be accountable to you, we will be approachable and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your lives are better.”

Karen Bodden

That responsibility, once elected, will be bestowed upon Bodden to become only the second woman mayor of Belize City. In summarizing the tenure of her forerunner, Bodden says that Mayor Zenaida Moya’s limitations in office are the result of people confusing the role that she plays in our society.

Karen Bodden

“I have much respect for our present mayor but one of the things that the electorate did that I cannot agree with was to equate a leader with a community activist. Those are two different roles and so we cannot fault the mayor on any of her shortcomings because we as the electorate needed to have examined what leadership really is and the qualities that a leader should possess and I think that is what I bring to the table that makes the difference.”

Municipal elections are scheduled for March of next year and while the ruling United Democratic Party remains hopeful that it will secure all eleven seats at City Hall it will be the first true test of unity and approval for the opposition under the leadership of Francis Fonseca. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Aside from Bodden, the other candidates are Erwin X, Peter Lacey Junior, Patrick Thompson, Gary Ayuso, Swami Babani, Lennox “DJ Tambran” Young, Dorla Vaughn, Robert “Bobby” Cadle, Alberto Vellos and Edward Young.

Channel 5


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#421648 - 11/11/11 01:33 PM Re: P.U.P. names its City Council slate [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

PUP Citco Slate Says They're Ready

As we showed you on Monday night, the PUP held its convention for a Belize City council slate on the weekend. That group of 11 was officially launched today at an event which filled the Party's Headquarters at Independence Hall with more new faces than we've seen in a while.

7news was there:...

Jules Vasquez reporting
The PUP today introduced their ten councilor candidates and their mayor at Independence Hall. The names and faces are fresh - many of them new to the PUP - but their message had a familiar ring:

Karen Bodden, PUP Mayoral Candidate
"We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. The energy to rage against the onslaught on poverty, neglect and all other forms on injustices has dissipated. Being replaced with a worrisome state of apathy. However, I come before you this morning to say that the present status quo of city management or as we have come to know it - city mismanagement is not acceptable. I am here to say no to the conditions that currently exist but most importantly I am here to say that hope is alive and blazing in the resilient spirit of every resident of this city."

And while mayoral candidate Bodden leads the charge - her councilors are earnest and plain spoken - like 22 year old candidate Swami Babani:

Swami Babani, Topped Poll in Convention
"I want to set the example for other youths to put their all in. I am sure that whatever they do they can accomplish it with the right amount of desire and I feel that we can have more programs, get our youths involve."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you answer those people who say that you are speaking from a position of inexperience?"

Swami Babani, Topped Poll in Convention
"Well I may be inexperience, I am the youngest candidate and I am sure I have a considerable amount of mistakes I'll make but we are here trial and error. I feel I can properly serve our city. I have the devotion and charisma for the people and I think with hard work and dedication we can bring back our city."

Jules Vasquez
"The criticism against you, I'll be straight up - will be that what do you know about city council, you are a DJ?"

Lennox "Dj Tambran" Young, PUP Candidate
"See what happen is that a lot of things change Jules, we tell our self that we have a lot of people who know about city council and they still fail. It is time to make a change. I personally see a lot things and I am involve in a lot of things. But I think it's only basics, this thing is not any brainstorming, people are suffering. The drains, potholes, garbage - those things are for us to come together and get the job done."

The rootsy campaign is an interesting turn for the PUP - which has gone from electoral heights to its own special period:

Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Party Leader
"People don't want miracles you talked about and I think you are right. People don't want to hear any grand plans for Belize City; they don't want us to be building anything in the sea. What they want is for us to get back to the basics - get back to the fundamentals; they want their garbage collected, they want their streets fixed, the want the basics goods and services delivered for Belize City, the fundamentals. So that has been our advice to our team, get back to the basics; meet with the residents in their homes, on the streets, in their communities and tell them what you are going to do about the basics."

And for voters, the basic issue is where will the money come from:

Karen Bodden, PUP Mayoral Candidate
"Money or the lack of it may be a factor but the determinant factor is the quality of leadership that exists. There are various options....."

Karen Bodden, PUP Mayoral Candidate
"One person asks 'you keep talking about change, what change are you referring to?' I am not referring about political change; I am referring to the change of our attitude and behavior. I am actually looking at re-education that our people can begin to understand that there is a cost to everything and if we put ourselves together then we can come up with the cost that we need."

And while that seems well meant enough, the challenge for the PUP is about more than putting together catchy slogans - the party has to re-learn how to win elections:

Jules Vasquez
"Do you feel that there is a pressure upon you as new leader to at least deliver 4 municipal victories or is there a threshold you feel that you need to win in at least a certain number of municipalities to validate your leadership?"

Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Party Leader
"No, I don't think so Jules, obviously I've been the leader of the party for just two weeks, so I don't feel any pressure on us to win but I Feel pressure that we put together the best teams that we can. We are going to fight hard every step of the way Jules but I am not afraid of losing. That's one thing, I am not afraid of losing. We have to fight hard, we have to work hard every single day and the end of the day of course political parties is about winning elections so that we can provide better services to the residents of Belize City. But at the end of the day we will respect the termination of the people."

Jules Vasquez
"You spoke about the teams going out and the party needs to equip them. Mark Espat, (I pull this from my email) when he sent out this letter to standard bearers when he decided not to run as leader. The pre-occupation you shared regarding the party's electioneering and operational machinery - these units quickly must become battle ready, Is that process accomplished or is that in the works?"

Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Party Leader
"That is definitely ongoing, that has not been accomplish, that is ongoing. That is absolutely critical, we have to become battle ready. That is very a difficult process - a very challenging process. But I believe we are putting in place the right people and we are putting in place the right structure for that to happen."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you think it will happen by municipals?"

Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Party Leader
"It absolutely will happen. It will happen before the end of this year. We will be battle ready before the end of this year."

Channel 7


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