By Alexis R. Milan
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP), an amalgamation of several independent small parties, introduced itself to the public on Thursday morning during a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management (BIM).
The BPP outlined its plans and policies with just a month to go before elections.
The Party settled on the name BPP,because it was the winner of an on-line competition held on Facebook, where the public was asked to submit names Its first official act as a party, the BPP said, displays its “unwavering commitment to participatory democracy”. BPP was the winning name of more than 100 submitted names.
The Executive Committee of the party is comprised of Paco Smith, chairperson; Marila Coc, treasurer; Abdul Nunez, secretary general; Robert Lopez, campaign manager; Roy Rodrigruez, chair of the Northern Council; Patrick Rogers, party leader and Wil Maheia, deputy party leader. Charles Leslie Jr. is the party’s public relations officer.
The party said it is sure that there will be critics and naysayers, particularly from the established political arena, who shun the newly established third party, but added that this negativity serves as fuel for the fire.
There were eleven candidates present at the press conference who declared their candidacy for various constituencies throughout the country.
Each candidate committed to declare his/ her personal assets and liabilities, as stipulated under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2007.
The candidates who declared are, Edna Diaz for Corozal South East, Lucilo Teck for Corozal South West, Hipolito Bautista for Orange Walk South, Roy Rodriguez for Corozal Bay, Eon Cacho for Pickstock, Robert Lopez for Belize Rural South, Andrew Williams for Cayo South, Patrick Rogers for Collet, Wil Maheia for Toledo East, Charles Leslie for Belmopan and Adan Palomo for Corozal North.
The party said it is currently in talks with members from several unions and other independents, and hopes to have a 31 candidate slate ready by Nomination Day, October 16th.
Lopez said the third party movements have always endorsed transparent campaign financing, much unlike the major parties. He made an appeal to the public to support the new party and said it is time for a change.
“Money doesn’t vote,”. the party declared. “People d!”
The BPP also made an appeal to local business people who want to support a change in the way the country is governed. The party said it is asking at least 100 businesses to make a contributions of around $4,000 to assist with campaig funds.
Party Leader Rogers also called on the People’s United Party leader, Francis Fonseca and Prime Minister Dean Barrow to take part in a debate to discuss the real issues affecting the country and to outline policies and plans instead of hurling insults at one another.