Interview with the Candidates

Over the next seven weeks The Sun Pedro Sun will be featuring a series of interviews with the 7 candidates of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People's United Party (PUP) who will be participating in the up coming town board elections. The format for the interviews will follow a similar pattern, starting with particulars of each person's background followed by general and political questions. Every week one UDP and one PUP candidate will be interviewed. This week the two candidates are: Armando Castillo and Felipe Paz, Jr.

People's United Party

Normando (Mandy) Castillo
Age: 56
Occupation: Business Manager
Political Party: The People's United Party
Place of Birth: Belize City, but have made "La Isla Bonita" my home since 1977.
Married/Wife: Happily married.

Q.: Why did you choose your particular political party?
A.: The P.U.P. is a party for the people, of the people and with the people! That is the party to be proud of. It is the party which served the people from its inception until today. The party has been guiding all Belizeans towards success. As a nation this is the party that ended the yoke of colonialism. This is the party that gave us our independence. This is the party that gave each and every one of us an identity. Today we stand proud and tall to call ourselves Belizeans. That is why I am a member of the People's United Party.

Q.: Have you ever been a political appointee? If so give details.
A.: No, I have never held a political position before. But I intend to real soon.

Q.: Have you ever taken part in any community activities?
A.: I take part in community activities every day of my life. I try to help our fellow people without jobs to find one, and give the poor and the sick a helping hand, because it is they who we depend on to make a community. We should all unite together as one, to help one another through love and respect.

Q.: Why do you think you would make a good representative of the people?
A.: I know I would make a good representative to the people because I am a committed individual, with an open mind and ear. Whatever project I undertake, I'd do it to the best of my ability. I want to bring more improvement to this jewel we live in, for there's a cry for help from north to south, for implementation of good and guided improvement for the entire island. Education, (well trained teachers, would make a difference), roads or streets, (tilled and paved, with street light where needed), sanitation, and let us not leave out tourism (which is one of the major assets to the town and its people.)

Q.: What do you believe is the most important part of your party's political platform and why?
A.: I believe, that the priority here is to provide to all what is needed now and not just empty promises.....The P.U.P.'s main, to serve the people. This is not a party of opposition that opposes for the sake of opposing. It was the P.U.P. who acquired a loan for the erection of a civic center three years ago. We intend to go ahead with it. We intend to have adequate medical facilities with enough trained professionals and technicians to provide residents of San Pedro Town with quality health care for all. When it comes to the importance of "La Isla Bonita" I would say the P.U.P. is a party of sincerity, honesty and action.

Q.: What new projects would you like to see undertaken if you are elected?
A.: For starters, the good maintenance of streets and the implementation of a drainage system. Electricity for those in the San Pedrito area. Water for those in the San Pablo area, which has grown, and for San Juan and other areas that don't have it. Also we will work for a civic center for San Pedro.

Q.: In the event that the town board is a split town board do you anticipate any problems? If so, how would you go about solving them?
A.: One party has to have a majority, as in the present case... the present situation suggests that a split town board does not work presently, only the four (4) U.D.P. councilors make all the decisions without regard or consideration for the other three (3) elected P.U.P. candidates. However, if a split happens and the P.U.P. wins, we will try our best to work together with all the candidates, through proper communication and understanding.

Q.: Do you have any other comments?
A.: The P.U.P. seven has a slate of candidates with diverse backgrounds and experience who are willing and able to go forward in the name of progress for the community of San Pedro. Moreover, I would say a change would be in the best of interest for you the people and for San Pedro. In other words...Vote P.U.P!!

United Democratic Party

Felipe Paz, Jr.
Age: 30
Occupation: Businessman
Political Party: United Democratic Party
Place of Birth: San Pedro Town
Married/Single: Married, Lliani
Children/Grandchildren:3 children, Dora, 8; Felipe, 5; Rodolfo, 2.

Q.: Why did you choose your particular political party?:
A.: I chose the United Democratic Party because I am satisfied that its philosophy allows elected officials to fully govern the affairs of the town and their people.

Q.: Have you held political office before?
A.: This is the first time. I have been serving on the town board for three years now. It was the first time I ran for office and I was elected.

Q.: Have you ever been a political appointee?
A.: Yes. I have served as Sports Coordinator for the past three years and have also been a member of the Lots Committee.

Q.: Have you participated in community activities?
A.: I have coordinated community Work-A-Thons for the improvement of parks and sporting facilities, and I have participated in the Lion's activities whenever possible.

Q.: Why do you think you are a good representative of the people?
A.: Because I am honest, I am hardworking and I'm here to serve the interests of all of the people of San Pedro.

Q.: What do you feel is the most important part of your party's political platform and why?
A.: As our campaign slogan says, -Continued progress and prosperity for ALL - . The UDP and this Town Board have worked hard for all Belizeans and have achieved the special goal of being fair and giving everyone an equal opportunity to move ahead and improve their standard of living. Political victimization stops progress. It is through following the Golden Rule that progress and prosperity are achieved for all.

Q.: What new projects would you like to see undertaken should you get elected?
A.: Two years ago in a letter to your newspaper I explained several projects that I was lobbying for. They were: a proper marketing plan for San Pedro, the improvement of streets and the plan to build a civic center or large hall for the use of the town. I decided to run for a second term in order to see that these projects are completed. I can see that the candidates for both sides agree with me that these issues must be addressed. I will continue to work to see that these three projects are completed.

Q.: In the event that the town board is a split election with part of each party getting elected, do you anticipate problems? If so, how would you go about solving them?
A.: There is no problem there since we work fine together now. We listen to the suggestions of the opposition and if it they are in the best interest of the town, we act on them.

Q.: Do you have anything else you would like to comment on?
A.: I believe the people are satisfied with the work we have done so far. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve again and I'd like to thank everyone for the support they've given us for the last three years. I think we have sent a clear message about how people should vote in this election. The UDP has worked hard and achieved a lot for the town in the last three years and we promise to continue to do better.

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