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The Battle for OW East Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00
Hon. Marcel Cardona, Orlando Burns and Denni GrijalvaAlthough the People’s United Party had experienced several political setbacks in 2004, the three main blows being the massive labour protests in Belize City, the Cabinet revolt by the G-7 and the many revelations of corruption, they were still considered pretty robust in October of 2005. Recall that a sort of uneasy truce had been brokered by Shoman with the Unions, and the G-7 solidarity had for the most part broken up. Cabinet was still very much in control of the National Assembly and the PUP still controlled the majority of Town and City Councils countrywide. The storm that could have brought down the PUP government had fluttered away “like one lee breeze” and another General Election was not due for the next three years. 
   
It was in this atmosphere that the UDP Steering Committee in Orange Walk Town began seeking nominees to contest the March 1, 2006 Town Council Elections. Prospective candidates were sort of reluctant to apply since there has always been this anxiety to challenge the PUP for fear of victimization or of being scandalized. Anyway, by November the UDP had put together a slate and a convention was held in December. The UDP went on the following year to win all the Town Councils countrywide.
 
I shared that bit of historical introduction to build on my main story. By now all of you readers will have known that the incumbent in Caribbean Shores, Hon. Carlos Perdomo, successfully defended his candidacy this past Sunday in Belize City. It was a good and healthy challenge which gave the division a political spark the past few weeks of campaigning. But, as one anchor said during the Monday night newscast, this coming Sunday, 12 December, will see a much more intense convention in Orange Walk East. 
 
There are three worthy candidates seeking to bear the mantle of standard bearer for the East: incumbent Hon. Marcel Cardona, Orlando “Landy” Burns, and Denni Grijalva. Those three gentlemen are really throwing their all into this convention, and it will be one of the most interesting and heated political events for some years here in OW.
  
I want to state that I will lend support in 2013 to any candidate who is successful on Sunday, since I consider all of them to be capable of proper representation. I understand that the Party officials here in OW are more concerned about mending fences after the convention, as these events rarely end well. Personally, I have not been keen in openly supporting one candidate over another, but this time around I must confess that I support Landy in his bid in this convention. 
  
Apart from being a good friend since 1983, Landy offered me his unconditional support in 2006 in my run for the Orange Walk Town Council, and I want to return this favor in this small way. In 2006, our inexperienced team of seven against the infamous blue machine was grateful for the fearless support from Landy, Gapi, Ruben, and Lot.  They were behind and beside us at all times, in every manner of speaking, never losing faith, never allowing us to lose faith. 
 
Knowing how temperaments in the East are at this moment, I am sure that some might say that I should not interfere since I am a registered Central voter. True thing, but this Friday my son will register in the East, and I plan to transfer next July. So I intend to become a full-fledged East voter before the next General Elections.