VIP - the Vision Inspired By the People will be fielding candidates in two of nine municipalities in the upcoming local elections.
And the Third-Party In-waiting has picked the cities: Belize and Belmopan.
Today the party launched its Belize City slate - which only has six councilor candidates and one mayoral candidate.
Chairman of the Party, the very passionate Bobby Lopez said that's the best they could get to come forward because everyone is running scared from what he characterized as malicious mass parties:
Bobby Lopez - Party Chairman, VIP
"As far as the municipal elections are concerned, we're only fielding in Belmopan and Belize City, but that does not rule out - and we make the call to the nation. These are your municipalities; if you don't find somebody on that slate on any of the two parties that you feel comfortable with, then do what I did. Pay your money, and vote for yourself, and ask people to give you a chance to show that you can be different. The rest of the nation knows that on March 7, we will all go and select who will govern their municipalities, but everybody sit back and accept red or blue. Step up, offer yourself. Right now, Jules, we only have two slates. The PNP has a slate in PG, so there are 3 towns that you will have a third option. These are the brave people who have stepped up. Now, before nomination day, because you know that we are still open until nomination day, we're hoping that this team will be complete, but we can't wait. And we said, 'You know what, these are the folks that are brave enough to put their faces out their and to take the hits, but we're calling on others. Let's complete the team, and if we don't complete the team, then these are the people that you're going to have as choices, and then you can mix up the rest to complete your slate'. That's what we're saying. That's the same thing that we're having in Belmopan, Jules; I make no apologies. We don't have a complete team in Belmopan yet; we have about 5 and we're short of 2. But we expect to finish that team before nomination day. There is no shortage of people who want to ask away. But ask them to make that first step, they're afraid. Their daughters are getting a scholarship; they might take it away. Their job, they might lose it, or their brother will lose the good job that he just got. These are the things that came out of Dangriga."
Lopez explained that the VIP and the PNP are moving towards what's called the BUA - the Belize Unity Alliance - which would be an umbrella groups for third parties or people's movements.
But, back to the matter at hand - and that's the municipal elections - where in the city, Mayoral Candidate Paco Smith will lead the charge.
In a riff of platitudes, he told the media today, he is all about transparency and putting an end to corruption.
Paco Smith - Mayoral Candidate, Belize City
"The Platform involves, first off, being steeped in integrity. Most definitely, through successive administrations here at the city council level, there has been a lack of integrity. Lack of integrity has developed into this corrupt environment in which we find ourselves. With regards to immediately taking office in March of 2012, most definitely, we have to do a comprehensive audit. We want to know what is going on in there. We don't know because they don't tell us. Everything right now is cloak and dagger. It's quiet; everything is done in the backroom, in the dark. We want to shed that light. One of the things I want to say, though, is we hear about the financial difficulties of the city council, but we believe that it's also part and parcel due poor fiscal management. The city council collects a lot of revenues. There are a lot of things going on under the table, in dark rooms that are not right, corrupt that activities. We have to 'nip that in the bud'. And once we nip that in the bud, we can reallocate those funds to what needs to be done with regards to infrastructure, human development and so on."
The VIP says it plans to launch a full slate in Belmopan next week. In 2009, the VIP registered a first for a third party: it came in second, besting the PUP slate in the city that George Price built.