Massive Voter Turnout in Belize City Convention - UDP READY for Municipal Elections Print E-mail
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Written by By Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 07 August 2014 00:00

convention.jpg - 79.68 KbOn Sunday, August 3, sixteen outstanding candidates offered themselves to represent the United Democratic Party in the 2015 Belize City Council Election. Those individuals are Fredy Cantilliano, Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, Jason Edwards, Alifa Elrington, Dr. Alain Gonzalez, Samson Jacobs, Dion Leslie, Percy Lewis, Noreen Martinez, Bernard “B Q” Pitts Jr., Dean Samuels, Kevin Singh, Phillip Singh, Deon Sutherland, Michael Theus and Philip Willoughby. The outstanding 16 included teachers, doctors, attorneys, business owners and community workers. Unfortunately, only ten could be selected to contest the municipal elections.

Considering the fact that there was no intense campaign period leading up to the Convention, the turnout on Sunday was extremely impressive. The energy and excitement of the candidates and supporters at the ITVET compound demonstrate clearly that the United Democratic Party has overwhelming support in Belize City.  

Polls opened at 10 a.m. with ten voting stations, based on Constituencies. There was an early blitz at the Lake Independence and Port Loyola polling stations with voters standing in a considerably long line. Queen Square followed with a mid-afternoon blitz which created the longest line of the day. Apart from those peak moments, a steady flow of city residents made their way out to vote up until closing time at 5 p.m. Ballot boxes were opened at about 5:35 p.m. and counting continued up to about 11:30 p.m.

The first few boxes revealed that Councilors Dion Leslie, Phillip Willoughby and Bernard Q. Pitts Jr. were front runners and held a secure slot on the UDP slate. It was also clear that returning Councilor candidate, Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, and new comer Jason Edwards were safe as church. As counting continued it was becoming evident that former Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels and Dr. Alain Gonzalez would be returned to contest another election. It was also becoming evident that Samson Jacobs, Percy Lewis and Phillip Singh were out of the race. That meant six candidates were hoping for three seats. Those six included City Councilors Alifa Elrington, Kevin Singh and Michael Theus and challengers Fredy Cantilliano, Noreen Martinez and Deon Sutherland. As the clock approached 10 p.m., Councilor Alifa Elrington and Michael Theus heart rates eased a bit as unconfiremed reports trickled in that they were comfortably ahead of their closest challengers. Deon Sutherland and Fredy Cantilliano, by this time, realized that their campaign was coming to an end. The race for the final spot on the slate was between Kevin Singh and Noreen Martinez. The final box to be counted was the Albert box with 523 ballots. Singh was ahead of Martinez by 231 votes in other boxes, a huge but not insurmountable margin. However, in the Albert Constituency, Noreen Martinez received 238 votes while Kevin Singh received 316. Singh finished tenth in the voting and made it on the UDP Belize City slate.

After the final ballot was counted and the votes tallied the ten victorious candidates were Dion Leslie with 3,244 votes; Phillip Willoughby with 2,893; Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar with 2,796; Jason Edwards with 2,785; Bernard “BQ” Pitts Jr. with 2,742; Dean Samuels with 2,633; Dr. Alain Gonzalez with 2,482; Michael Theus with 2,456; Alifa Elrington with 2,253 votes and Kevin Singh with 2,006 votes.
Noreen Martinez received 1,700 votes; Cantilliano received 1,643, Sutherland 1,630, Phillip Singh 1,443, Lewis 1,013 and Jacobs 899. There were 760 voters from Lake Independence, 658 from Queen Square, 621 from Port Loyola, 523 from Alberts, 465 from Collet, 338 from Pickstock, 331 from Mesopotamia, 254 from Caribbean Shores, 150 from Fort George and 142 from Freetown. A total of 4,242 voters came out which is some 600 more than 2011.   

After the votes were tallied, the Chairman of the Party, Alberto August, led the candidates to meet and thank their supporters. Dion Leslie, who received the most votes, thanked the city residents on behalf of the 16 candidates. Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar expressed special gratitude to those who walked the campaign trails with their candidates. Mayor Darrel Bradley was uncontested and sworn in as the Mayoral Candidate for the United Democratic Party’s Belize City 11. Bradley addressed a crowd of supporters who witnessed the candidates being sworn in. He said that at this moment there is one united slate that will work together to secure victory for the UDP in March of 2014. He promised to continue working hard everyday to develop Belize City and improve the quality of life for all city residents.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 15:26