General — 16 August 2017 — by Micah Goodin
Marconi Matus wins PUP mayoral vote

SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Mon. Aug. 14, 2017–On Sunday, members and supporters of the People’s United Party (PUP) converged at the Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio Town to elect a mayoral candidate for the 2018 municipal elections. A total of 863 persons voted in the polls, which opened at 9 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m.

Three candidates vied to lead the PUP team in the battle for the twin towns next year. When the final ballot was counted, Marconi Matus, a career businessman, won the day with 345 votes. Community activist, Arthur Smith, was the second choice with 261 votes, and retired BDF Colonel, Javier Castellanos, was third choice with 240 votes. There were 17 spoiled ballots recorded.

After Matus was crowned victorious, Castellanos and Smith magnanimously agreed to run as councilor candidates on his team, along with Floyd Lemus, Zoila Palma, Elio Pulido and Jeoffrey Windsor. They were all sworn in by the chairman of the PUP, Henry Usher.

Today Matus told Amandala that his political career dates back to 1997, when he was first elected to the town council and served as mayor of a split council, with 4 PUPs and 3 UDPs at a time when central government was led by the UDP. However, his time in office was short-lived because he resigned.

Matus refrained from saying anything discourteous about the incumbent UDP Town Board. He would only tell Amandala that he is back in the political arena because there is a need for transparency, accountability, and good governance.

“I want to work for the people of Santa Elena and San Ignacio,” he said.

According to Matus, the time has come for meaningful change, and his PUP slate embodies the change that the people of Santa Elena and San Ignacio desire, he said.

Matus says that within the first hundred days of being elected, he hopes to conduct a series of consultations with residents so they can register their concerns and share their ideas for development. After that, he will initiate an audit into the finances of the town board so that he can have a clear picture of how the people’s monies were spent.

Matus says he wants to level the playing field when it comes to the renewal of driver’s licenses. He told Amandala that residents of Bullet Tree Falls and other surrounding villages only pay $30 for the renewal of their driver’s license, while those in San Ignacio and Santa Elena must pay double. He says he wants to have the $30 spread across the board.

According to Matus, if elected, his team will not only focus on infrastructural development, such as street and drain projects. Promoting human development, allowing residents to unlock their greatest potentials and live their dreams, is high on their agenda.

He believes that his team stands a real chance in the upcoming municipal election. The team’s members are unified, competent and genuine, he told us. They live among the people and understand the struggles that the common man, woman and child of Santa Elena and San Ignacio must endure on a daily basis.

The new PUP mayoral candidate, who is an alumnus of Sacred Heart College, previously worked at the Treasury Department in San Ignacio and also served as a member of the Trade License Board. A Justice of the Peace and a current businessman with local investments, he has been married for the last 36 years and has two daughters and three grandchildren.

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