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#62838 - 02/11/03 11:32 AM Election 2003
Marty Offline
here's some info on the PUP platform, I will add the UDP information when that interview is released on Thursday.
P.U.P. manifesto: lower taxes, more land

Election manifestos in most
countries are the kind of
documents that are read once
and promptly forgotten by
voters and politicians alike. That
practice was certainly true in
Belize, but in recent years a
funny thing happened:
manifestos somehow became serious business. The
turning point came in the 1993 campaign when it is
widely believed that the U.D.P. manifesto promise
of "free education" was a major factor in that
party's dramatic come from behind victory. In 1998
it was the P.U.P.'s turn to "out-manifesto" its
opponent with promises of ten thousand houses
and fifteen thousand jobs. So what will the People's
United Party do for an encore? Today, thanks to an
upbeat high-tech extravaganza, I found out.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
In presenting its manifesto for 2003-2008, the
People's United Party spared no expense...walls awash
in blue, twenty-eight standard bearers strong and
supporters galore. Welcome to Belizean politics in the
twenty-first century. Party leader Said Musa was quick
to set the tone.

Prime Minister Said Musa
"I am sure you will agree that we achieved most of
what we promised in 1998, came close to achieving
the rest and did many more things that we had not

And so began the long list of the P.U.P.'s "we wills".

Prime Minister Said Musa
"Fiscal prudence and sound public investment will
remain the cornerstones of our economic management
as we continue to grow the economy, while ensuring
that the disadvantaged benefit as well those who are
better equipped to take advantage of better
opportunities. We will ensure the creation of twenty
thousand new jobs, local entrepreneurs will have the
same access to investment incentives as foreign
investors, and we will direct all future foreign
investors away from retail businesses and towards
agro industry and other productive and foreign
exchange earning enterprises. We will remove sales
tax from more basic items and home phones. We will
abolish property tax on properties valued under twenty
thousand dollars. Abolish stamp duty on land valued
under five thousand dollars, and abolish stamp fee for
government leases and further reduce electricity and
telephone rates."

"Education will continue to be the number one priority
for the next P.U.P. government, and we will make sure
that every Belizean child will have access to primary
and secondary education. We will invest ten million
dollars in more and better preschools and day care
centres; build fifteen hundred new classrooms; ensure
the provision of free basic primary school textbooks to
the needy; build more high schools; invest forty
million dollars to complete the C.E.T. vocational and
technical programs in all districts."

"The new P.U.P. government will assist every Belizean
family that needs land to build a house, start a
business or work a farm. We will provide thirty
thousand house lots to first time land owners; make
available suitable and surveyed agricultural land for
small farmers; convert all existing government leases
to free hold title cheaply and quickly."

But with the opposition saying that the P.U.P. is
writing cheques the government can't cash, party point
man Mark Espat believes that despite the hype, it is
the past that will decide the future.

Mark Espat, P.U.P. Candidate, Albert Division
"For people to believe you, for it to be credible, you
have to have a record. I believe we have that record
of building Belize. Yes, I do agree this is an ambitious
manifesto, but the demands of development and
demands of the people are greater than ever before
and I think our party and our government has to step
up to meeting these expectations."

Prime Minister Said Musa
"You're preparing to exercise your power to chose your
government for the next five years. They say that
memories are short in politics..."

And no doubt the P.U.P. is hoping the public will soon
forget last week's revelations by the United
Democratic Party of an exclusive fifteen-year contract
signed between G.O.B. and Novelo's Bus Line.

Janelle Chanona
"What's the deal with those documents that the
U.D.P. has presented?"

Max Samuels, Minister of Transport
"The documents are their problem. The question of
Novelo's having a franchise or a concession is not so."

Janelle Chanona
"These...the copies they presented show your
signature. Did you sign any agreement like this?"

Max Samuels
"We had some business to assist the Belizean
transportation industry, and we took some steps in
those directions, which had nothing to do with a
franchise to Novelo's."

Janelle Chanona
"But where there any documents signed?"

Max Samuels
"Documents were signed, but not for any concession.
You probably would want to know that a concession or
a franchise would need to go to the House of
Representatives for approval."

Mark Espat
"We have tried to be always on the side of the
commuters. If this has meant facilitating our own
Belizean companies trying to make a company
stronger that employs hundreds of Belizeans, we have
done so. I don't think our government has anything to
be ashamed of, we want to always be on the side of
the commuters of Belize."

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Candidate, Freetown
"What we share with you today is the product of
nationwide consultation and dialogue, grounded in the
wisdom of the Belizean people and guided by our
nation's best interests. Our party is confident that in
the days and weeks ahead, as Belizeans focus on our
message and plan of action we will all agree that
now, perhaps more than ever, Belize needs the
People's United Party."

Copies of the P.U.P. manifesto are available online
at www.pupbelize.org. On Thursday the United
Democratic Party makes its presentation.

#62839 - 02/14/03 10:05 AM Re: Election 2003
Marty Offline
U.D.P. manifesto: heavy against corruption

On Monday the People's United
Party threw a blue and white
extravaganza to launch its
election year manifesto...and
today it was the U.D.P.'s turn to
paint the town red. This
morning I joined my media
colleagues and an enthusiastic
throng of party supporters to see what the freshly
printed document has to offer.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
With the twenty-seven male standard bearers decked
out in shirts and ties and its women clad in U.D.P.
red, let's get it right, the United Democratic Party is
plying to win.

Dean Barrow, Party Leader, U.D.P.
"This manifesto of the United Democratic Party is the
best we have ever produced, if only reason of the fact
that so much effort, so much consultation, has gone
into the production of the manifesto. Ours therefore is
the vision that can repair Belize's social compass,
rescue her economy, reinvigorate her democracy."

Built largely on the planks of anti-corruption, it took
nine members of the United Democratic Party to
present snapshots of their big picture for Belize.

Dean Barrow
"We are going to pass a law setting up this new
offence of unjust enrichment. A reconfigured integrity
commission will have the power and the duty to
investigate any minister or elected official who is
seen to be enjoying a lifestyle or acquiring visible
assets that his or her salary cannot justify. In the
absence of a sufficient credible explanation, that
official will be liable to being arrested, charged,
prosecuted and jailed. As well ladies and gentlemen,
all government contracts above a certain figure will as
a matter of law have to go out to public tender."

"No government contract above a certain figure, as a
matter of law, will be able to be signed by the
Executive unless and until the terms and conditions of
that contract have been publicly disclosed."

Doug Singh, Chairman, U.D.P
"Job creation will be one of the number one priorities
of the next U.D.P. government. Jobs will be created by
re-channelling funds into infrastructure development
and into enterprise development. The U.D.P. will
create enabling environments for Belizeans to earn
their own keep, thereby offering economic
independence instead of handouts."

Erwin Contreras, U.D.P. Candidate, Cayo West
"The U.D.P. government will create a land application
registry through which all land applications will be
processed without ministerial manipulation according
to the order in which they are received."

Diane Haylock, U.D.P. Candidate, Pickstock
"We will re-institute the office of the Permanent
Secretary in the Ministries, thereby restoring the
impartiality and continuity of the senior management
of the civil service."

Gabriel Martinez, U.D.P. Candidate, Corozal S. West

"For students and their families, the U.D.P. will
institute a system of book rental to reduce the cost of
textbooks to parents."

Marilyn Williams, U.D.P. Candidate, Albert
"Ladies and gentlemen, the U.D.P. will not burden the
taxpayers with additional contributions for N.H.I."

Oscar Ayuso, Deputy Leader, U.D.P.
"Implement and strictly enforce mandatory safety
standards for public transport providers and private
motor vehicles, addressing issues such as the road
worthiness of motor vehicles, overloading, driver
training and passenger comfort."

Patrick Faber, U.D.P. Candidate, Collet
"We will develop more creative ways to deal with first
time juvenile offenders, this will include providing
counselling and mentoring to steer juvenile offenders
away from crime and towards a responsible and
productive life in this Belizean society."

Eden Martinez, U.D.P. Candidate, Toledo East
"The U.D.P. will establish a Beverly Smith Lopez
endowment fund as a vehicle for obtaining and
channelling funds to dance and drama groups."

For Dean Barrow, this first U.D.P. manifesto under his
leadership will convince even the most cynical of

Dean Barrow
"There are no wild promises. There is no promise of
fifteen thousand jobs; there is no promise of twenty
thousand houses, nothing like that. Precisely because
we understand that the electorate is cynical, and
precisely because we are determined this time around
to ensure that the things we say we will deliver on.
We've therefore made the elements of our manifesto,
absolutely pragmatic and absolutely doable."

But while Barrow was preaching to the choir, a
footnote to the U.D.P. manifesto was waiting
downstairs... Approximately fifty employees of
Novelo's Bus Line, along with their boss, David
Novelo, lined the street to protest the U.D.P.'s
allegations that G.O.B. gave the company a
fifteen-year exclusive contract.

David Novelo, C.E.O., Novelo's Bus Line
"It's lies and we want to ask the Leader of the
Opposition... our company deserve an apology, don't
use us for any political gain... We want to put to an
end to this political football. This company is being
utilized, and when it is being utilized in such a
scenario that it questions the foundation of its
economics, it's finances, it really puts in jeopardy
everybody's job."

Dean Barrow
"We as the next government will want to work with
Mr. Novelo, we want to secure the employment of his
employees, but it is not going to be at the price of
giving him any fifteen year exclusive license."

Copies of the U.D.P. manifesto are available from
the party's standard bearers and at the U.D.P.
Secretariat at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge.


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