UDP wins 2018 Municipal Election Belize City win augurs well for PUP in 2020

By William Ysaguirre, Freelance Reporter

The incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) swept six of nine municipalities in the west and south, but the Opposition Peoples United Party (PUP) made substantial gains, consolidating the North by winning Corozal Town and sweeping the Belize City UDP stronghold. Final result: the UDP won 41 of the 67 seats that were in play, the PUP won 26, including 11 in Belize City, which is also home to 10 electoral divisions for the upcoming 2020 General Elections. On International Women’s Day on March 8, it should be noted that 19 women won 33 percent of the seats.

The newly elected Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner won with 10,318 votes, Oscar “Polo” Arnold received 10,967, Javier Castellanos – 11,064, Ryan “Ferguson” Elijio – 11,019, Micah Goodin – 10,196, Aisha Gentle – 11,991, Deltrude Hylton – 11,008, Dr. Candice Pitts – 11,132, Allan Pollard Jr – 11,130, Michael Norales, and Albert Vaughn.
“Mr Belize” Rigoberto Vellos was elected the new PUP Mayor of Corozal with 2,749 votes, and PUP Councillors Shamir Alpuche, Dillian Cassanova – 2889 votes, Hilberto Clarke – 2,897 vote, Dr. Toni Paharsingh 2,898, Otoniel Riverol – 2940 votes, and Rodolfo Narvaez. The UDP Mayoral candidate Richard Quan received 2,645 votes, the best result for the UDP slate was Melhem Williams – 2,691 votes.

Only 6,079 of the 12,409 registered voters in Orange Walk Town or a mere 49 percent of the electorate turned out to vote; Mayor Kevin Bernard was re-elected with 5,264 votes. Deputy Mayor Ladrick “Mad Bull” Sheppard received 5,597 votes, Ian Cal – 5317 Josue Carballo – 5359, Rozel Flores Arana – 5370, Fernando Sanchez – 5,311, and Haresh Vaswani – 5,064. The UDP Mayoral candidate Phillip de La Fuente got 2,593 votes, and the best result for the UDP slate was Evan “Coolie Buay” Wiliams – 2,947 votes
The PUP won one more seat in Dangriga: Erica Rodriguez Jang was elected with 1,574 votes, while incumbent Mayor Francis Humphreys was returned to office, along with UDP Councillors: Gary Francisco, Aaron “Jake” Gongora, Alexander “Lexus” Joseph, Earth Lopez and Cheryl Molina. UDP candidate Yadira Diego did not win her seat.

At first it seemed that the balance of victory might have been as close as UDP 34- 33 PUP when early results indicated the PUP had also won San Pedro Town, but a re-count that lasted until 3 a.m., Thursday, March 8 yielded a UDP victory. Mayor Daniel Guerrero was re-elected to office with 2,667 votes, winning by only 38 votes more than his PUP opponent. Councillor Hector “Tito” Alamilla received 2,818 votes, Flora Ancona – 2,904 votes, Ruben Gonzalez – 2,904, Gary Grief – 2,890, Severo Guerrero – 2,789, and Gabriel “Gaby” Nunez 2,809 votes. PUP mayoral candidate Andre Perez received 2,629 votes; the next best result was councillor candidate Marina Kay Graniel with 2,624 votes.

The UDP made a complete sweep of the 28 seats in the three western municipalities of the Cayo district and Punta Gorda Town. Mayor Khalid Belisle was re-elected in Belmopan with 3,298 votes, along with councillors Jacklyn Burns – 3,327 votes, Paul Chun 2,292 votes, Isidoro Galvez – 3,053 votes, Jem Eleanor Pascacio – 3,190 votes, Angel Pastrana 3,110 and Louise Willis – 3, 215 votes.

Mayor Earl Trapp was re-elected in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, where 58 percent of the electorate came out to vote. Councillor George Boiton received 4,442 votes, Bernadette Fernandez – 4,732 votes, Shary Medina – 4,530 votes, Vanessa Neal – 4,464 votes, Mark O’Brian 4,574 votes, and Nick Singh -4,242 votes.

UDP Mayor Marconi Sosa and his team were re-elected in Benque Viejo del Carmen; while in Punta Gorda, UDP Mayor Ashton McKenzie was elected with 1,181 votes. Councillor Kevin Choc received 1083 votes, Winston Felix Chun – 1105 votes, Joicelyn Dawson – 1,093 votes, Cindy Bochub Martinez – 1,152 votes, Franklin Polonio 1,264 votes and Raynel Tate – 1,145 votes.

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