Review of UDP and PUP Manifestos

The People's United Party (PUP) presented their manifesto to the people of Belize on August 4th and the United Democratic Party (UDP) introduced theirs on August 12th, 1998.

A manifesto is a public, official and authoritative declaration or explanation of intentions, motivation or principles of actions.

The PUP's manifesto opens with "Come, join hands with us: together we can set Belize Free." The 32 page manifesto covers over 16 issues. A Growth Economy - more jobs, less taxes: Under this headline the PUP party highlighted promises include removing VAT, reducing taxes, providing 1500 new jobs, and ensuring cheaper water, light and telephone rates.

The Education Revolution: The PUP party declares that schools must prepare people for living productively in society. These are a few things a PUP government would do for education: build 1,000 more classrooms, institute a school nutrition canteen program, standardize textbooks, equip every school with a library and computers and establish a unified system of tertiary education.

Land And Natural Resources Are The People's Resources: The PUP plans include: assisting farmers with timely surveying of their lands and placing emphasis on provision of infrastructure prior to distribution (of land): including streets, electricity etc. Under the subheading managing our natural resources, PUP plans include: protecting the livelihood and cultural heritage of the indigenous people and controlling pollution. Under Fisheries PUP intentions include: supporting and protecting fishing co-operatives, regaining Belizean ownership of our fishing industry and ensuring sustainability.

Home Ownership Is A Right: The PUP promises include: 10,000 new homes and affordable and long-term credit facilities for low and middle-income earners to build homes.

Political Reform: Giving power to the people. Under this headline highlighted issues include reforming the Judiciary System; Electoral Reform and Local Government; the Prevention of Corruption and passing a Referendum Act that will enable (People's Participation) citizens to decide on matters of national importance such as citizenship. Empowering The South And Other Disadvantaged Areas: The PUP plans to carry this out include developing the communities' infrastructure and agriculture.

Our Youth, Our Future: The PUP plans for our youth include igniting development of Sports facilities and promoting sports as a money generating industry.

Roots And Culture: Under this headline the PUP intends to promote and protect freedom and diversity. Other plans include establishing a House of Culture in every district.

Agriculture: The PUP intentions include: reopening the Libertad factory, abolishing import duties on fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and packaging materials; and providing vigorous support internationally for our sugar, citrus and banana industries as well as new non-traditional exports.

Securing Our Boarders And Fighting Crime: These are a few of the PUP's intentions: The PUP will be tough on crime as well as on the causes of crime we will insist on individual responsibility for crime, judicial reform and speedy trials and help for victims of crime.

Healing The Health System: Plans to heal the health system include: expanding primary health care- revitalizing the training of health professionals and providing a new mental health facility with professional staff.

A People's Tourism For The New Millennium: Some of the PUP plans include: Promoting Belize as an eco-tourism destination, implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy, restructuring the BTB, reviewing tax policy and promoting the Mundo Maya Strategy.

Empowering Belizean Women: PUP plans to empower women include: modifying laws that discriminate against women, amending laws relating to sexual offences, increasing social security maternity benefits and benefits for widows, orphans and domestic workers.

A New Public Service: The PUP plans include: ensuring that the people receive prompt, professional and respectful service from public servants.

Foreign Affairs Are The People's Affairs: PUP intentions include: pursuing discussions with Guatemala to normalize our relations, working closely with the European Union and restructuring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Rights And Freedoms For All: Under this headline the PUP party plans to privatize the BCB and abolish BIS union recognition where a majority of workers at a workplace so choose and expand and improve the Social Security Scheme.

The UDP manifesto starts with the party's mission statement:

"Through the effective arrangement of the material resources of the country, promote the kind of socio-economic development of Belize that will ensure the continuing improvement in the general level of welfare of its citizens, and position the country favorably in the international economy in order to take advantage of opportunities to enhance its development."
The 27 page UDP manifesto reviews six Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Units, designed to maximize Government's effectiveness and efficiency.

People Centered Programs: * Human Resources, Health, Sports and Education.

Sub-topics include: Arts, Housing, Health and Medical Care, Education, Youth Development, Women, the Family, Senior Citizens, Poverty and Sports.

The UDP will continue to support the work of the Belize National Arts Council.The new UDP Government will increasingly relieve the burden of health and medical costs from the shoulders of the poor, the aged and the disabled.

Physical Infrastructure and Utilities Programs: * Urban Development, Works, Communication.

Sub-topics include: Roads and Bridges, Water Supply, Electrical Power Generation, Electricity Rates, Communication and Science and Technology.

The new UDP Government will complete paving the Southern Highway and commence paving the Coastal Road, begin survey of a road link from Orange Walk to Belmopan. The new UDP Government will establish a Utility Regulating Office (URO) to monitor and regulate the three monopoly Utility Companies, to ensure fair treatment to customers.

Productive Programs: * Land Resources, Agriculture, Trade and Tourism.

Sub-topics include: Land Ownership, Forestry & Related Areas, Agriculture, Fisheries, Trade and Industry, Tourism and Environment. Taxes on productive agricultural land will be reduced as an incentive to productivity. The UDP Government will continue to pursue bilateral and international programs designed to protect the environment.

Security and Foreign Relations: * Foreign Affairs, National Security and Attorney General.

Sub-topics include: Law and Order, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and National Security.

Extend "Quick Court" system to speed prosecution of offenders. Composite BDF highway and boarder patrols. Undergo comprehensive review of the penal system with a view to rehabilitating prisoners to bring them back into society.

Revenue Enhancement and Financial Management Programs: Finance, Economic Development.

The UDP will continue its comprehensive overhaul of the tax system to make it more transparent and fair and to broaden the tax base. Institutional Development Programs: * Public Service and Home Affairs.

Sub-topics include: Labor and Labor Unions, Public Administration, Village Councils and Urban Administration.

Encourage investment in labor intensive industries.Provide credit facilities and training to expand opportunities for small business start-ups and the self-employed.

The UDP government will continue consultations with local partners in development such as the church, civil society and private sector to ensure the growth of Belize.

Within the UDP's manifesto there are two booklets: one addresses Political Reform and government and the constitution; the other booklet is a record of the UDP and PUP fulfilled and unfulfilled manifesto promises, according to the UDP government.

For a complete version of the UDP 1998 election manifesto visit the UDP office on Pescador Drive or call 3153. For a copy of the complete PUP manifesto 1998 visit the PUP office on Tarpon Street or call 2903.

Review of UDP and PUP Manifestos

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