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: Pete Ayuso and Carmen Cecilia Lara.

People's United Party

Pedro Ayuso
Age: 35
Occupation: Dive Master
Political Party: The People's United Party
Place of Birth: San Pedro
Married/Single: Married; to Chaby
Children:Two children - 1 boy: Adolfito and 1 girl: Conchita

Q.: Why did you choose your particular political party?
A.: I was born under a P.U.P family and I myself have chosen this party that cares and works for the people. It is a party that has accomplished, with integrity, all the promises to the people and to the country and it is an honor to be with the P.U.P party.

Q.: Have you held a political office before? If so, what office?
A.: No, I have never been a political appointee.

Q.: Have you ever participated in any community activities?
A.: I have served my community as a past Lions Club president and treasurer and also as the Tourist Guide Association's treasurer. I worked with honesty and I never failed them. These organizations have accomplished much in our local and national community and I'm happy to have been in them. I can walk with my head straight up on the streets because I never stole from the boards which I was involved with.

Q.: Why do you think you would make a good representative of the people?
A.: I know I am going to be a good representative for the people of San Pedro because I know that I can deal with their problems any where I am. They could come to me and together we will find a solution to continue the sound growth of the entire community. Let it be known that I, Pedro Ayuso, am offering my heart to the people and that from now on they are my family and with their full support and trust we will make a good representation of "La Isla Bonita".

Q.: What do you feel is the most important part of your party's political platform and why?
A.: My party is working with the community, especially, in the field of education. We are working with the youth and elderly people of our beloved San Pedro. As you can see, nothing has been done by this present government to address these problems. Then there is the issue of promoting tourism so as to have a sustainable economy, with all year round tourism.

Q.: What new projects would you like to see undertaken should you get elected?
A.: First of all, my priority will be working on the airstrip area, in particular, San Pedrito. San Pedrito is a P.U.P Community Project that began so as to allocate the demand of more housing projects. Monies were allocated to pay the rightful owners for the property, however, we understand that such has not been done. San Pedrito, under the P.U.P Town Board will immediately get proper streets with drainage system, lights on the streets and the installation of water and sewage facilities. Last but not least, give the residents the title of their property. It has been three long years of neglect by the present town board and we cannot tolerate it. Also, I would like to see a proper drainage and upkeep of the streets, especially, for the people living in the San Juan area, San Pablo, Boca del Rio and down town San Pedro. Since this present town board has promised for the past three years and nothing has been done. What a shame for the Mayor and the U.D.P Councilors.

Q.: In the event the town board is a split town board, do you anticipate any problems? If so, how would you go about dealing with them?
A.: It is not a problem for me to work with a split town board but I prefer a solid P.U.P Town Board, which we are going to be. The people of La Isla Bonita are hardworking and very industrious. They have seen that under the U.D.P, we have been taxed in everything, prices have escalated, with the 15% VAT. We Belizeans have experienced no personal growth, especially, with our salaries that have stayed the same since 1993. How can we survive another 3 years of a U.D.P Town Board?

Q.: Do you have any other comments?
A.: I would like everybody to know that the 7 candidates of the P.U.P are coming to you with their hearts open to work for you and not for our pocket. Don't let anybody buy your vote since it is sacred to exercise your vote as a citizen. Vote your conscience, vote solid 7 P.U.P candidates.

United Democratic Party

Carmen Cecilia Lara
Age: 20
Occupation: Manager
Political Party: United Democratic Party
Place of Birth: Belize City but I grew up in San Pedro.
Married/Children: Single, no children

Q.: Why did you chose your particular political party?
A.: I chose the UDP because I have seen the good things they have done for the community. I've seen how they work for the people and the progress they have brought. My father always taught me not to look at the party but at how the individuals work. And that is what I've done. I've seen the good they have done and I choose to be a part of the UDP party, a party of people who are bring progress to the town.

Q.: Have you ever held a political office before? If so, what office?
A.: No, I have never held a political office before. This is the first time that I have taken part in politics.

Q.: Have you been a political appointee? If so give details.
A.: No, I have not held a politically appointed position before.

Q.: Have you ever participated in any community activities?
A.: I have been very active with the community, mostly with the youth and especially the females. I was the organizer of the Ms. Teen San Pedro last year. I plan to make it an annual activity. It is held in July. I picked this time because the young people are out of school during the summer months and they have nothing to do or to entertain themselves with. I was also a member of the Leos Club and was Ms. Lions district number 59 and also Ms. San Pedro Lions. I have been involved in several pageants and have won. I was Ms. Estero Amor and Ms. San Pedro.

Q.: Why do you think you would make a good representative of the people?
A.: I would make a good representative because I understand what the youth in San Pedro need. I understand that the young people need activities and projects to occupy themselves with to stop all these teenage pregnancies. There must be a stop to all of the alcohol abuse and drug abuse among the youth in this town. I am very friendly and I get along well with people. I believe that those two qualities will allow me to do a good job. I also know quite a number of people in the community, especially many young people who will be able to vote. They know me from the pageants. I also have no problem with skin color or party. I am honest and responsible and I know I can do a good job for my community.

Q.: What do you feel is the most important part of your party's political platform and why?
A.: I believe that the youth are important and the UDP support the youth of San Pedro. The youth are the people of tomorrow. Our mayor was once a youth and one of the youth of today will be mayor too. So it's important to help the young people of today to make a good tomorrow. I believe the youth need activities to occupy themselves. Activities and events such as beach parties and shows that they can participate in and display their talents. Education is also an important part. What I would like to see happen is the organizing of educational programs to teach young people to stay in school and the importance of education. I would like to see the formation of more scholarships. There are many poor students who are very intelligent but can't afford to go to school.

Q.: What new projects would you like to see undertaken should you get elected?
A.: I would like to establish a youth group for the young people of San Pedro. They need some where they can go to enjoy themselves but in a heathy setting. A club house for the members of the youth group is also a very good idea. Young people like to play pool, darts and video games but the only place they can do so in town is at bars. They need a place of their own. A civic center is also a project that should be undertaken. The community needs a good place to gather and to have their meetings.

Q.: In the event that the town board is a split town board do you anticipate problems? If so, how would you go about solving them?
A.: It is difficult to work with a split town board because both parties are usually thinking about their party and not the job they were appointed by the people to do. It works out better with all 7 blue or 7 red, that way everyone can work together, share ideas and carry out projects. The main thing to remember, if in that situation, is to be friendly and courteous. Don't think about color but about the people. Be cooperative and respectful of other people's ideas and plans for projects. If there is tension then it is up to each candidate to act mature and to work the problem out and to do their jobs.

Q.: Do you have any other comments?
A.: Your vote is your voice! Vote UDP 7 down the line. Vote, choose or loose.

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