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#501919 - 03/06/15 11:32 AM Election Roundup....
Marty Offline

UDP fiesta!
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) has won its fourth consecutive bombshell victory in the nationwide municipal vote held yesterday, March 4, 2015, capturing 62 of 67 available seats with the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) retaining 5 out of the 7 seats it had previously held in Orange Walk Town. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said at a press conference today that it was “a very decisive defeat” for the People’s United Party and “a very decisive victory” for the UDP. As the results were announced last night, the winners led motorcades through their municipalities. At the UDP headquarters in Belize City, the mood was celebratory as party members and supporters amassed – some of them with flags in hand – to savor the victory at the polls in Belize City and the rest of Belize, with the exception of Orange Walk, where the Opposition People’s United Party, led in that zone by former party leader Johnny Briceńo, fought hard to hold its ground.

UDP 7 wins 2015 Municipal Elections in San Pedro; Daniel Guerrero re-elected as Mayor!
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has maintained control of the San Pedro Town Council as all seven candidates won the Municipal election 2015 on Wednesday, March 4th. They defeated the full slates from the People’s United Party (PUP) and the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP). The first figures released from the counting station indicated that the UDP was in the lead. One by one, the official figures came in, and as each figure put the UDP in the lead, the atmosphere became one of celebration. When the results from the ninth box came in at about 10:30PM on Wednesday night, the PUP officially conceded defeat after eight out of nine boxes showed clear wins for the UDP slate. UDP managed to control all 13 polling boxes, capturing the win for their full slate.

Bradley tops polls, almost doubles Schakron
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was returned to office today, having garnered a higher percentage of the mayoral vote than he did when he was first elected to serve as the City’s mayor back in 2012. This time, he received 11,833 votes – 63% of the mayoral votes, up from the 56% portion he received three years ago. Bradley ran unsuccessfully back in 2003, when the slate of the Opposition People’s United Party led by David Fonseca, was returned to City Hall. Although he was the second most popular UDP candidate in that election, Bradley did not join the UDP slates of 2006 and 2009. It was not until 2012 that he offered himself for municipal office again, setting for himself a track record that saw him emerge victorious at the end of Wednesday’s poll. Speaking with Amandala today, Bradley said, “We are very pleased with the outcome and very grateful to voters for their continued confidence.” He expressed his thanks not only to his party colleagues who helped him to garner the win, but also to the staff of the Elections and Boundaries Department and to the public officers assigned to work on election day, for conducting professional elections.

In Belmopan race, UDP demolish opponents
Belmopan Comprehensive High School was the staging ground for the red and the blue machines as the two main parties, the incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), labored to get voters out in the steaming heat. Out of the eight municipalities electing new three-year term town councils, Belmopan had the most mayoral aspirants, with five persons nominated to fill the “Garden City” mayor’s seat. During the counting, as the word began to trickle out that the UDP was leading, the triumphant sounds of the party’s supporters reverberated in front of the counting station, as the vigil continued into early Thursday morning. Then, it was finally announced that the UDP’s Khalid Belisle and his team of six councilors had triumphed in Belmopan. A total of 5,716 electors, which represented 63% of the total registered voters in Belmopan, had gone to the poll to elect the new UDP town council.

UDP takes back the South!
The UDP candidate for the mayoral race in Dangriga, Francis Humphreys, a teacher, historian and educator, is now the new mayor of the “Culture Capital” of the Jewel after besting his past student and opponent, Greg Ovado, who was contesting the race for the PUP. In the midst of a huge, celebrating crowd, Humphreys was declared the new mayor of Dangriga at about 2:00 this morning at the BTL Princess Royal Park in Dangriga. The announcement came at the conclusion of the counting of the votes that were cast in the Municipal Election 2015 in Dangriga for the selection of a new mayor and a slate of councilors to administrate the town for the next 3 years. After he was declared mayor, Humphreys made a victory speech to the huge, hyped-up crowd on the steps of the Town Hall. In his speech, the new mayor said that he and the people will work to transform Dangriga and to make it the true Culture Capital of Belize. He said he will also work for a higher standard of living for the people, and added that he and his team will work to bring to fruition what they indicated they would do in their manifesto.

The UDP’s municipal western sweep
In the western twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena, the parade of the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) red T-shirts and the Opposition People’s United Party’s (PUP) blue T-shirts was on constant display in the streets and at the polling areas where residents went to cast ballots in Wednesday’s municipal election. In the far-flung western town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, it was the same scene, with the political machinery of the two major parties in full gear. On the Bullet Tree Road leading out of San Ignacio towards Benque Viejo, the constant flow of vehicles decorated in the party colors of the UDP and PUP tell the story of the intense competition between the red and the blue for the prize of victory at the polls. In Polling Area #73, the PUP mayoral candidate Ramon “Munchie” Quiroz was on a roll, greeting voters as they entered and left the polling area. Quiroz, however, was keeping watch on a house in front of the polling area where UDP operatives were allegedly paying voters.

Punta Gorda has first female mayor – Fern Gutierrez
The voting process got off to a slow but peaceful start at St. Peter Claver R.C. School and Punta Gorda Methodist School at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, and by the time the polls closed at 6:00 p.m. 2,242 voters, 62% of those registered in that municipality had participated in the poll, returning Fern Gutierrez, who served as councilor from 2012 to 2015, as the only elected candidate for the United Democratic Party (UDP), and also installing her as the town’s new mayor – the first woman to hold that post in the municipality. Gutierrez will be joined by a full slate of UDP councilors – returning that municipality, which had been held by the UDP for two consecutive terms (2006-2009 and 2009-2012), to the ruling party. Voters told us that in Punta Gorda (Peini), voting is usually slow in the morning, but the pace picks up after midday.

Hilberto trounces “Dido” in battle for Corozal Town Council
The official numbers are still being tabulated presently, but at this point, it is evident that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) town council slate, led by incumbent mayoral candidate, Hilberto Campos, has clearly defeated opponents from the People’s United Party (PUP) for the fourth consecutive term. The final official count for Corozal Town includes 19,594 total votes for the UDP; 17,404 total votes in favor of the PUP; 39 rejected votes, and 9 spoilt ballots. Before the counting started, however, Corozal Town was abuzz with activity today as teams of campaigners for the two major political parties constantly ferried and coaxed both traditional and prospective constituents from all corners of the locality in hopes of securing victory in what had turned out to be a hotly contested race for command of the Corozal Town Hall for the next three years. In the last two elections (2009 and 2012), the UDP won by 1,251 and 1,215 votes respectively and in both instances, Campos won in his bid for the mayor’s seat, albeit along with two completely different town council slates.

Embattled PUP hang on to Orange Walk Town Council
Mounting anxiety that had built up for almost 10 hours after the commencement of vote counting and reconciliation within the walls of the La Immaculada RC Primary School in Orange Walk Town was finally cleared away at approximately 3:55 a.m. today when it was announced that incumbent People’s United Party (PUP) mayor, Kevin Bernard, and four of his councilor candidates, managed to secure a much needed municipal victory for their party. With a total of 63 ballot boxes – most of which contained split votes – Orange Walk was the last of all municipalities to be tallied, and at the culmination of counting, went on record as the sole triumph for the seemingly beleaguered Opposition PUP, which has now been defeated in the last four municipal elections (2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015). Outside the counting station, the throngs of UDP supporters who had stood around to listen to the final results, had mostly dissipated in the face of persistent reports that they had fallen behind during the counting process, but a crowd of about 100 enthusiastic PUP loyalists – invigorated by the welcoming news – held their ground, continuously waving their blue-and-white flags and reciting party slogans.

#501930 - 03/07/15 05:33 AM Re: Election Roundup.... [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PUP’s Lost Ground In Epic Fashion

Last night we gave you the broad outline of the results for the 2015 town board election - it was basically 62 to 5 in favour of the UDP - with the ruling party in full control of eight of nine municipalities across the country. It's a major letdown for the PUP which had hoped to gain ground in this election, but instead lost two of the three towns it did control before Wednesday's election.

But tonight the enormity of the defeat is just coming into full focus now that the Elections and Boundaries Department has released the official figures.

It shows the UDP not only winning but making major gains in every single town and city. That figure was highest in Belmopan where the UDP gained sixteen percentage points compared to the 2012 election. The UDP mayoral candidate, Khalid Belisle won by almost 1,500 votes, besting his opponent at a rate of almost two to one. In 2012, the UDP council was split and garnered only 42% of the vote - this time it's 59% in the capital city. And in a three party race, the PUP got only 28% of the total vote.

The UDP had its second greatest gain in popularity in Punta Gorda where it increased its popularity by 15.8%. In 2012, the UDP lost that council, garnering only 40% of the vote; this time they got 56%. The outgoing PUP Mayor Anthony Fuentes got a dismal 27% of the vote, and the new mayor Fern Guttierez beat him at a rate of greater than two to one. Wil Maheia's PNP finished close to the PUP figures in a respectable third place.

In Dangriga, the UDP had its third largest gain - another town council which it lost in 2012 but now controls with a commanding majority. There was a 644 vote swing against the PUP and the UDP got 60% of the popular vote. New mayor Francis Humphreys beat his opponent by over 500 votes.

San Ignacio, which is a long-time UDP stronghold became even more so. Former Mayor John August got 53% of the votes in 2012, but his replacement Earl Trapp increased that to 64%. He beat his PUP opponent by almost two thousand votes as the PUP saw its percentage of the vote plummet from 47% to 36%.

In San Pedro - which was seen as a battleground - Mayor Danny Guerrero increased his margin from 134 votes in 2012 to 655 over his PUP opponent. The PUP's hold on the electorate went down almost 5% in this town.

In Benque Viejo - another long time UDP stronghold - the UDP made the most modest gains, increasing its dominance from 61 to 65% - and the new mayor Heraldo Rancharan, got 767 more votes than his opponent.

Orange Walk, is the only town which the PUP held unto - but the party lost significantly in the popular vote. Not only did two UDP councilors get in, but Mayor Kevin Bernard's margin of victory plummeted from a dominant 642 votes in 2012 to just 64 votes in 2015. Overall, the PUP's popularity in Sugar City went from 55% to 51%, and the UDP went up from 45 to 49%.

In Corozal, where UDP Mayor Hilberto Campos won what may be a historic fourth term, the UDP saw its most modest increase in popularity - at only 1.4%. In 2012 the party got 51% of the vote and in 2015 is got 53% of the vote. Mayor Campos saw his margin of victory slip slightly from 383 to 300. He is the only incumbent UDP mayor to have his margin decreased; it increased for all other mayor's seeking re-eleciton.

And that brings us last to Belize City - where Darrell Bradley also increased his margin of victory - beating his opponent Yolanda Schakron at a rate of almost two to one - more than five thousand votes. The Belize City result is worthy of special attention - because, being in the media center - it got so much attention during the campaign. Overall, the UDP slate not only gained popularity since 2012 - but did better than in 2009 when the UDP was just elected. More significantly, with 61% of the vote, the UDP slate fared as well as the Zenaida Moya slate from 2006 - when the then Musa Administration was at the height of its popularity and facing heavy street protests.

Overall, such a dominant result coming three years after the UDP almost lost general elections, suggests - as we've been saying - that the pendulum of political fortune is swinging in the wrong direction - in favor of the incumbent, and against the PUP. In a release yesterday the PUP blamed the outcome on quote, "the indiscriminate and wholesale use of Petrocaribe money…to fund vote-buying..."

For the historical record, we should note that in 2008, the PUP spent, according to the Auditor General's office, 12.3 million dollars -from a Venezuelan grant in 6 weeks before the general election - and then went on to suffer a historic loss at the polls.

This is the first time in memory that an incumbent administration has increased its margins in every single town and city.

Channel 7

#501939 - 03/07/15 06:47 AM Re: Election Roundup.... [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Fully account of Municipal Election results on ArcGIS System by Adele Ramos Amandala Press.

Explore in-depth election results with our latest software, made with ArcGIS Online. Click images for full story. Clip bubbles for info. on each municipality.

Click here to try it out!


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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