BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 29, 2019– Hundreds of seats needed to be filled to begin the new 3-year term of the village councils across the length and breadth of Belize, and the two main political parties fielded hundreds of village council candidates and prospective chairmen, as they went head to head, each fighting to come out on top.
In the past, village council elections were hardly politicized, but in today’s world, politics have entered the village council electoral process, and the outcome of these elections is used as a barometer to measure a party’s popularity. In this year’s village council elections, however, a number of villagers preferred to elect independent slates, bypassing the candidates of the two main political parties.
Eighteen villages across the country voted for independent candidates and 124 independent candidates were elected.
In the main battle between the two parties, the PUP and the UDP, the PUP, in a press release issued today, Monday, July 29, have claimed victory in the village council elections.
The PUP press release puts the party’s village council victories at 97 villages while they reported that the UDP won 75 villages.
Out of those 97 villages which voted for PUP councils, the party said it got 690 seats compared to the UDP, which reportedly got 507 seats in 75 villages.
In the last round of balloting for the village council elections which took place yesterday, Sunday, the UDP and the PUP battled in the Cayo District over the final 5 villages to hold elections. When it was over, the UDP finished on top, winning 3 out of the 5 villages.
In several of the villages, PUP chairmen were selected by villagers to replace UDP chairmen as head of the councils, but the UDP won the majority of council seats. This scenario means that in villages where the two parties share control of the village council, they have to find common ground to work together for the benefit of their villages.