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#546169 11/11/20 06:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Briceno, On The Cusp Of History or Humiliation?

Tonight the Leader of the Opposition John Briceno is either on the cusp of history, or humiliation; he will either be the Moses that led his long suffering party to the political promised land, or the false prophet who led them to a wasteland.

Stakes are high - but when the media spoke to Briceno via zoom today - he was calm and collected. He said his party has done the work, and now the rest is up to the people:

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"You're on the cusp of what for you has to be a make or break election. You have said if you don't win you'll resign."

John Briceno, PUP Leader
"But yes, if I'm not successful it is obvious then it's time for the party to find a new leader. At this time as I said we have put in all the hard work. I believe that the people of this country is going to give the PUP an opportunity to lead for the next 5 years."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"From your electoral history dating back to the early 90s, this has to be the strangest election ever. All the rules are now upside down. What has your campaign like?"

John Briceno, PUP Leader
"Well, you're telling me that I look relax, I don't look beat up right now because if it was under regular circumstances I'd have been running all over the country and whenever you go at a constituency they want me to go to every community. I remember in one instance I did 16 villages in one day and you know what that does to your body. So, it's almost surreal."

Faber Says Victory

Like Briceno, Faber is facing what could be a make or break election: he was elected as party leader by only a very narrow margin - and the pressure is on him to prove himself as a leader worthy of succeeding Belize's only three term post independence Prime Minister Dean Barrow. But, he's unfazed by the moment; he sauys the mood right now is victory:

Patrick Faber, UDP Leader
"The mood right now is victory and of course we are pounding the pavement every last opportunity we have to be in homes in a safe way and also working the phones to make sure that we are prepared to get the voters out tomorrow and I believe that effort has been tremendous on the part of our party and will prove successful tomorrow. That's the message that I've been getting from our candidates resoundingly across the country."

"As you know we may not have had the opportunity to do the same kind of campaigning that we would normally do. I believe that we could have done a better job had we not had the Covid situation of getting into the homes of our voters for instance. But I think we've done the best job that we can do under the circumstances and the good thing about the handicap that we have is that it's the same handicap that all who are in this race have and so we are confident that we have done enough and that we have of course rallied our troops, made sure that our voters are awaken and so tomorrow it's just to get them to the polls and to get them to the polls safely."

The Floodwaters Will Slow Counting

And even with all those people who may not get their chance at the polls, the counting of the ballots is still expected to take longer than usual. Not as long as last week's US Elections, of course, but according to the Chief Elections Officer, ballots have to be moved from flooded areas, and elections officers need to be moved into them - a logistical complication that may slow down the process significantly.

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Elections and Boundaries

"Well I believe that the process will be efficient but since the last time you asked me that question I know that the whole flooding situation and access to certain areas by road, the road conditions are not as we would have wanted it to be because some got damaged with the flood so we could see whereby there could be some delays in terms of transporting of boxes will take maybe a couple minutes more than we had anticipated in the beginning. In areas like in for example in Belize City where we shouldn't have much of an issue we expect that the counting should be finished fairly quickly but in areas where the polling stations are far from the counting stations we could see whereby the counting will be put back a little bit so we are hoping we should get results by the following morning, I don't want to give a specific time because of some of the challenges we know we are going to experience."

Tamai Expects Low Turnout

With all those obstacles, it's no wonder why the expected turnout for tomorrow's elections is significantly lower than usual. We did a small facebook survey last week showing that registered voters who won't go out to cast their ballot are either afraid of catching COVID or simply don't like any of the candidates.

Pair that with those affected by flooding and the current active cases of the virus and you have a prediction of merely 60% turnout. Josephine Tamai told us her views on this low projected turnout.

Jules Vasquez:

"What do you think our percentage will be in this very usual election?" Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Elections and Boundaries

"That is a difficult question Jules because I know many things have been going through many people's minds if you listen to what people are saying but I will tell you in the end I still believe that we will get more than 60 percent of the persons who are registered coming out to vote. When I said 60 percent, I was basing it on the average that we normally have which is basically like 73 percent and like I said we know there are some persons who are still outside of the country who have not been able to come back to vote. Listening to many people I know some people are still fearful of going out and I want to encourage those persons to please come out it is only a sacrifice for a little bit of time, for a couple hours in order for you to let your voice to be heard come out and cast your vote on election day." The average percentage of voter turnout in the past years were in the high 70's to low 80's. After the 1998 re registration is was 92%.

Channel 7

A Poll of the People on the Eve of General Elections 2020

Polls are set to open at seven a.m., across the country for electors to cast their vote in this important election. Eighty-eight candidates are contesting the general election - thirty-one each from the major political parties, the P.U.P. and the U.D.P., and then another thirty are scattered among third parties the B.P.P. and the B.F.P. as well as independent candidates. One hundred and eighty-two thousand voters will determine the next government. The pandemic, crime and joblessness are core issues affecting the country, but will these issues determine how people will vote? That's what News Five found out when we took to the streets today.

"I am ready but because I am a public officer, I have to do it by proxy�have to be honest and have the country's best interest at heart�I don't play politics; I vote for person�.I want to see how they deal with education�I check on ideas about education, their ideas about COVID-19�in the new world."

"What is going to influence your vote?….my area representative work, weh ih put in�my area representative has been working so that is what is going to�for the people of the area."

"I just want something better; that's all�I have a lotta family here�I see a lotta poverty in here mien and it is so sad�cast mi vote tomorrow."

"You are going to exercise your right to vote ma'am? I feel that to a large degree, man's government cannot bring peace and happiness to all�politicians can only do so much for some�and I am speaking from a perspective of Jehovah Witness�isn't the real life."

"What is going to influence your vote?…both disappointed me, but we have to go with one of them. So we will see what the people decide tomorrow."

"We haven't seen any NEMO, no chairman, no area representative; to be honest, I don't even feel like voting and cast my vote."

"You ready fi go to the polls to vote? We have to�we got corona, we got flood pan we�so I noh know how people wah vote�issues that affect the nation is what we need to attend to; noh worry about colours."

Channel 5

Marty #546179 11/11/20 11:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
Live Election coverage:

Channel 5


Channel 7

The Voice Of Caye Caulker

Elections and Boundaries official website

Once on the site scroll down to see how the voting is going.
31.75% of voters have casted their votes up to 12:00 p.m.

How do you show your love for Belize?
Be an active citizen. Vote!

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