Editorial

Editorial

The idea of Party Leader John Briceño to call a snap convention of the PUP later this year is a good one.

The next general elections are going to be of the greatest importance to the future of democracy and development in Belize and indeed, the very future of the People’s United Party, which has lost three national elections in a row.

There are no apparent threats to Mr. Briceno’s leadership at this time, but there is more than one hopeful waiting in the wings for a chance at leadership. A pre-election convention will mobilize the forces of the party behind Mr. Briceño and so give him maximum leverage for the work ahead.
The main political battlegrounds are expected to be in Belize City, Cayo and Corozal. In Belize City the PUP already has a firm grip on the northside constituencies, so the fight will be intense for at least two southside constituencies, Port Loyola and Mesopotamia.

In Orange Walk Mr. Gaspar Vega has stabbed his party, perhaps fatally, by plundering government resources — lands and money. In doing so he has conceded moral leadership to the opposition People’s United Party. So it would not be surprising if the PUP were to sweep all four divisions of Orange Walk.

The PUP can count on two safe seats in Toledo, but in Stann Creek and in Belize Rural the party is weak. So its best hope is to take seats which are not securely held in Belize City, Cayo and Corozal.
For the incumbent United Democratic Party the strategy is simple: Win the municipal elections early next year with a massive endorsement to catapult the party into national elections which are likely to be called sooner, rather than later.

These national elections are expected to be a two-fisted, knock-down-and-get-up fight with severe bruising on both sides. The hiatus of uncertainty will take its toll on the economy as it always does, but in the end we expect that Belize will emerge with its democracy strengthened by the exercise, and with a clearer vision of where we want to go and how we intend to get there.

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