By Marion Ali
The 2015 municipal elections are now a part of history, as are the numbers that they generated on Wednesday. The United Democratic Party won all the seats in every city and town, with the exception of Orange Walk, where the PUP got five of the seven seats.
In that northern district, the PUP’s Kevin Bernard secured his mayoral seat for a second term with 3,873 votes, beating his UDP counterpart, Yvette “Liu” Torres, who got 3,809 votes.
The four PUP candidates who will form part of the next Orange Walk Town Council are Rozel Arana, who got 3,987 votes; Ian Cal, who received 3,949 votes; Josue Carballo, with 3992 votes; and Ladrick Shepherd, with 4,218 votes. Joining them around the table will be the UDP’s, Shartel Casimiro who secured 3,943 votes and Lougie Gomez who got 3,923 votes at the polls.
In the Corozal District, the UDP’s Hilberto Campos defeated the PUP mayoral candidate, David Vega, with a tally of 2,776 to Vega’s 2,476 votes. The UDP’s Guillermo Arana, Rafael Castillo, Stacy Armstrong, Estevan Cruz, Nicholas Gomez and Elva Perez will form the new Town Council for Corozal.
San Pedranos returned the UDP’s, Daniel Guerrero as mayor. Guerrero received 2,534 votes to beat the PUP’s Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, who got 1,879 notes. The new San Pedro Town Council consists of the UDP’s Hector Alamilla, Flora Ancona, Ruben Gonzalez, Gary Grief, Severo Guerrero, and Gabriel Nunez.
Five men ran the race for mayorship in Belmopan, but the UDP’s Khalid Belisle got the nod from the electorate with 3,193 votes. The PUP’s Jose Chacon received 1697 votes.
Hubert Enriquez of the Vision Inspired for the People (VIP) got 270 votes; Richard Smith received 250 votes; and Wilfredo Guerrero garnered 66 votes.
Joining Khalid Belisle at the City Council will be his UDP slate, including Anna Guy, Jacklyn Burns, Ralston Frazer, Gene Lopez, Angel Pastrana, and Louise Willis.
The twin towns – San Ignacio/Santa Elena also voted full red. Earl Trapp won the mayoral seat over the PUP’s Ramon Quiroz with 4,443 to 2,532 votes. The new Council will include George Boiton, Bernadette Fernandez, David Morey, Vanessa Neal, Michael Salazar, and Nick Singh.
Further west, Benqueños also voted for the full UDP slate. Heraldo Rancharan Jr. got 1816 votes over the PUP’s Alfredo Kuylen, who received 1049 votes for the mayor’s seat. Joining Rancharan as councillors will be Errol Coleman, Manuel Contreras, Alvaro Gongora, Elmer Guerra, Marcos Kotch, and Miguel Thompson.
In Dangriga, the UDP’s Francis Humphreys got 1,741 to become the new mayor over the PUP’s Gregory Ovado, who got 1,227 votes. The council will now include the UDP’s Yadira Diego, Gary Francisco, Alexander Joseph, Earth Lopez, Cheryl Molina, and Herbert Nicasio.
Punta Gorda voted in the UDP slate with Fern Gutierrez as its new mayor with 1,189 votes over the PUP’s Anthony Fuentes, who got 578 votes. William “Wil” Maheia of The People’s National Party received 372 votes. The new councillors are the UDP’s Aphane Avila, Lucia Cayetano, Winston Chun, Luzanne Gutierrez, Ashton McKenzie, and Franklin Polonio.
The Election and Boundaries Commission has not yet released the final official tallies for Belize City. Those figures will be available on Friday on The Reporter’s weekend news online at www.reporter.bz.