On Tuesday night, the UDP controlled 6 of the country's 9 municipalities, tonight, they control ZERO. And, whereas on Tuesday they controlled 41 of 67 municipal seats, tonight that has been cut down to only TWO.
So, the PUP now controls all 9 cities and towns across Belize - almost a clean sweep, and another blue tsunami swallowing the red.
A 'thank you' to the People of Belize from the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceno
UDP's Loss Historic
All through the news we've been telling you about the PUP's decisive
victory in the municipal elections. Jules Vasquez looked at some of the
numbers that jumped out
It is the single largest municipal loss in history: the UDP went from
controlling 6 municipalities, to controlling ZERO, while holding only two
seats of 67, down from the 41 they won just three years ago - a two
thousand per cent decrease.
It is a staggering quantum of defeat, but, not unexpected when one takes
into consideration what happened at the polls just three months ago when
the UDP only ended up with 5 seats and 37.4% of the popular vote, the
second worst defeat in history.
And now this is the biggest single slippage ever at the municipal level
where the UDP now controls only two seats nationally.
Coming off its blistering defeat at the polls in 2008, the PUP managed to
win three seats in the 2009 municipals.
They did that in Orange Walk - their strongest town before and since - and
the UDP have now managed to do it in Cayo, which has to now be considered
their strongest stronghold, since it is no longer in the city.
And just like the PUP in 2009, they hold it by a hair's breadth - the mayor
won by a narrow margin, and so did the only other elected UDP councillor
Bernadette Fernandez - but have been on the council for just about 2
In Punta Gorda, And, the UDP has ventured into 3rd party territory, with
three councillors from the the BPP slate getting more votes than UDP
candidates. The PUP had a similar outcome against the VIP in Belmopan in
So, in a sense the downfall of the UDP in 2020 and 2021, can be compared to
the PUP in 2008 and 2009.
Except, it's a little worse - when one considers the margins in Orange Walk
and Belize City.
In Belize city, the PUP mayor got 500 fewer votes than last time, but his
UDP opponent Orson Picart got four thousand fewer votes than the last UDP
mayoral candidate in 2018. His councillor candidates performed along that
same line, four thousand votes less than their predecessors.
And, in Orange Walk the margin was incredible - almost four to one - with
the PUP making red dust out of the UDP.
Orlando "Chicle" Castillo
"The numbers don't lie and the numbers are saying that they are not happy
with the UDP here in Orange Walk Town and it is something that I will try
my best to change."
On the upside, the UDP came within striking distance in Benque Viejo with
this emotional thank you by deflated mayoral candidate Mike Guerra.
At the end of the day, the feeling is the UDP voters, if they're still out
there, did not come out for this election
Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister/PUP Leader
"For us it's not because we believe that we have taken out all our
supporters, I think it is the other side that did not manage to motivate
their voters to come out and vote for them and support them."
The official figures were just published this evening, and we'll have a
closer breakdown of the numbers tomorrow.
UDP Defeat Decisive and Decimating
And while history was made there, Belize City is the jewel at the
pinnacle of the political crown, and the PUP have won it for a second
successive time - this time by a larger margin.
This year, Mayor Bernard Wagner went up against political newcomer and
former journalist, Orson Picart.
The UDP's defeat was decisive and decimating, but during the day, the
red side was humming along - with fewer numbers and shirts, but still
in the hunt for a win. Our "Back to the Ballots" Belize City
correspondents were on the ground from before the polls opened.
Courtney Menzies has the highlights.
"What is your objective for today?"
Michael Novelo - Elected Councillor
And win, the PUP would. Much like the November general elections, the blue
wave swept over all nine municipalities, leaving the UDP with only two
seats out of 67. And at the centre, Bernard Wagner will enter into his
second term as mayor of Belize City.
Throughout the day in the old capital, voters merely trickled in Ã¢â‚¬" wary of
COVID and worn out from election fatigue.
And while there weren't a lot of voters, there were certainly a lot of blue
shirts outside polling stations. And though they couldn't speak for the
other side, the PUP said that their machinery was well-oiled and they were
certain their people would come out.
Hon. Henry Charles Usher - Area Rep, Fort George
"We have our people in place, we have our campaigners out, we have our
vehicle picking up people right now, everything is ready to go, we know how
to win here in Fort George."
But their opponents felt the same. They encouraged the Belizean people to
send a message which voters did, but not in the way the UDP hoped.
Michael Peyrefitte - UDP Chairman
"We've been all over the country, the reception to th3 UDP has been
excellent everywhere we go. They believe that these government has failed
in the first 100 days and they figure if they give the PUP full control of
the country then there will be hell to pay. So, the people don't want that
I think that will be reflected in the vote."
"Sir but the people also voted out the UDP on November 11 saying the very
same stuff that we don't want them in power anymore."
"Right, it took the people 12 years to recognize that and I think it will
take the people only 100 days to realise that some of us made mistakes,
that we voted in the PUP that was not ready to govern. So, the people have
a chance to once again send a message and the people have shown that when
they want to send a message they will send that message and they will send
And even while sending that message, the voters weren't too enthusiastic
throughout the day. Few lines were noted before the polls opened, but for
most people, voting took less than five minutes Ã¢â‚¬" sort of anticlimactic.
The candidates, though, were energized throughout the day as they waited in
anticipation for the results which wouldn't be revealed until long after
midnight. One returning PUP councillor, Allan Pollard, waited it out in the
Queen Square division which he contested in November. He had hoped to
gain more of the constituent's favour.
Allan Pollard - Elected Councilor
"I believe in nothing else but the work that we've put in over the three
ears and the work we have been doing over the street, house to house
campaign, and in the division, the love that we injected into the division,
I believe that will pay off as well."
But even with all that love, the UDP stronghold was a wall against the blue
tsunami just as Collet, Albert, and Mesopotamia.
One division that welcomed the waves was Lake Independence, which was where
we met up with the UDP Mayoral Candidate, Orson Picart. The constituency
has always embraced its area rep, Cordel Hyde, and while Picart was a red
shark in a sea of blue, he wasn't worried.
Orson Picart - Mayoral Candidate
"What you're seeing is what the deputy prime minister who is the area rep
for this particular area bringing out his people. He is a very popular
gentleman but you have to know, Leandra, dah noh shirts end up the votes.
We would know this, that people are frustrated and people intend to send a
message directly to Central Government today that they didn't love on and
that they're walking back on, that they will send a direct message to them
to tighten up."
And while he probably should have been worried, his competitor also has
some worries of his own. Mayor Bernard Wagner was personally served by UDP
standard bearer and attorney, OJ Elrington. The mayor's candidacy is in
question since he does not actually reside in Belize City. We asked him
about it yesterday, but he was tightlipped.
"You do have that court case pending, are you nervous about the results of
that at all after the election?"
Bernard Wagner - Elected Mayor
"Unfortunately, I can't speak on that, that is before the court and I
believe at the end of the day, the people will speak, and that is the crux
of the matter."
Time will tell the results of that case. As for the results of the
election, the mayor annihilated his opponent with 10,067. Picart garnered
only 5,849, a staggering difference of 4,218. And with that, Wagner begins
his second term in office.
Notably- according to unofficial numbers - Councillor Allan Pollard
topped the polls with 10,886 votes. Newcomer Kaya Cattouse was second.
The People’s United Party served the United Democratic Party a major defeat in the 2021 Municipal Elections. The P.U.P. went from controlling three full councils to majority control of all nine. The U.D.P. was left with only two seats in the west where the P.U.P., after many years, was able to make dent in the red hills of the towns by securing five councilor seats. As our wrap up of the municipal elections, we take a cursory look at the results from the elections. Here’s the story.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
The People’s United Party won in a landslide over the United Democratic Party at the municipal polls on Wednesday. The P.U.P. has majority control of all nine municipalities – with sixty five of their candidates winning their seats and only two U.D.P. candidates left standing – Mayor Earl Trapp and Council Bernadette Fernandez won their seats in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Although Trapp is mayor on a majority blue council – he made it clear that he is still the man in charge of the twin towns.
Earl Trapp, Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena
“A good leader dictates from time to time – so no one will tell me what to do, buddy. If I have to dictate, I will dictate to get the work done in this community.”
And while it’s left to be seen how that balance of power will work out for Mayor Trapp in San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the U.D.P. candidates are still licking their wounds in Punta Gorda. Not only were they bested by the P.U.P., but also the Belize Progressive Party, putting the U.D.P. mayor and some of his councilor candidates in third place in the number of votes received.
In the north, the P.U.P. decimated the U.D.P. candidates with P.U.P.’s Ladrick Sheppard winning the mayoral seat with more than three thousand five hundred votes, beating out U.D.P.’s Orlando Castillo. Castillo, a son of Orange Walk, but an unknown in the political scene, felt that the defeat was a message to his party. And despite the massive loss, he wants to run again.
Orlando Castillo, U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate, Orange Walk
“It’s very bad here in Orange Walk for the United Democratic Party. It reflects very poorly on It reflects very poorly on what the party represents at the moment and the people are showing that they are still not contented with the U.D.P. When you get into this young you cannot get discouraged when you suffer a loss. You need to regroup, discuss, and move forward with a proper plan to see how you can gain back that trust of the people.”
In San Pedro, after eighteen years, the voters put their trust in the P.U.P. There P.U.P.’s Wally Nunez won the mayoral race with three thousand four hundred and sixty two votes – soundly defeating the U.D.P.’s Ruben Gonzalez who received one thousand seven hundred and one votes.
Wally Nunez, Mayor Elect, San Pedro Town
“I want to give thanks to San Pedro for coming out and giving us that vote of confidence. We will work for San Pedro. We are here for you.”
In Belize City, the P.U.P. team received twice as many votes as their U.D.P. challengers. Mayor Bernard Wagner received ten thousand and sixty-seven votes, while U.D.P.’s Orson Picart received five thousand eight hundred and forty-nine votes. Two of his councilors, returning Allan Pollard and new comer Kaya Cattouse topped the polls with ten thousand eight hundred and eighty-six and ten thousand eight hundred and sixteen votes, respectively.
In Belmopan, after a long P.U.P. drought – fifteen years to be exact – the Blue team was able win the elections. The Capital City now has its first female mayor Sharon Palacio. Palacio beat out long time city councilor and mayoral hopeful Jacklyn Burns of the U.D.P. with Palacio getting three thousand and sixteen votes to Burns’ one thousand two hundred and ninety-one.
In Benque Viejo, where the U.D.P. has dominated for years that came to a crashing end in a close race with the P.U.P. slate led by Jorge Rosales edging out U.D.P.’s Miguel Guerra by a mere thirty-nine votes.
In Dangriga, the P.U.P. team also unseated the U.D.P. with Robert Mariano defeating Francis Humphries with one thousand three hundred and thirty-two votes to Humphries nine hundred and eighteen.
In Corozal, incumbent P.U.P. mayor Rigo Vellos retained his mayoral seat with two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, beating out newcomer Roger Arana of the U.D.P. who received two thousand thirty-five votes.
And when the polls closed on Wednesday, the P.U.P. Leader said they had no doubts that they would prevail at the polls; they expected a win. But a sixty-five to two win – an almost clean sweep – wasn’t predicted.
Prime Minister John Briceño
“We are going to have the majority of them. I believe that we are going to do very well. We are going to win the majority – as to if we are going to win all, well, that will be very difficult as you know.”
“How are the P.U.P. teams feeling across the rest of the country?”
Prime Minister John Briceño
“The reports we are getting is that everybody is optimistic – everybody believes that they managed to take out their voters, despite the fact that there was a low voter turnout they believe they took out the majority of our voters, our supporters and that is what counts for your side – what the other side does is their problem and so I think we are going to do very well across the country.”