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Political Manipulation & Belize’s National Development

Have you ever wondered what direction Belize is heading into? Is there a clear path set out for National Development? Is there even a Master Plan for a National Sustainable and Progressive Development Scheme? Or are political agendas defining the path of development every five years? Have our politicians ever consider putting their political agendas aside and begin working with the people of Belize? Do our current politicians even know of the good strategies the Father of the Nation, the Rt. Hon. George Price has helped to achieve?

Growing up as a young boy in Big Falls, Toledo, I have witnessed four general elections. The People’s United Party was victorious in the first two elections in 2008 and 2003 while the United Democratic Party was successful in 2008 and 2012. I am an alert individual as it concerns Belize’s Political Past, Present and Future.  While I am only 24 years of age, I am deeply disturbed when elected officials, appointed officials and those who hold public office get involved in “acts” which are considered “corrupted, and in non-compliance” with their employment description. While I cannot judge someone based on the acts they partake in, I can only say that the Belizean public are also displeased when corruption happen in Government and minimal, if not, no justice is done. It is “completely” abhorrent to be defending any political affiliate if they engage in acts of corruption, regardless of the scale. Yet, we see this happening in Belize.

The People’s United Party won a landslide victory in 1998 and brought about massive development in Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Industry, Tourism, and the list goes on. They got re-elected in 2003, on these grounds, that “good” things were being done. As their term moved in closer, Belizeans became dissatisfied with the Government, and there were protests and civil disobedience from the masses. As I watched the various media channels, it became clear that Belizeans wanted a change because there was no clear path of accountability and transparency. In 2008, the United Democratic Party got elected on these grounds, promising to make Belize return to Belizeans. And yes, many Belizeans were happy, including me. Their first term in office was a packed involvement of transformations and the presentation of good governance across the broad.  However, no administration skips criticism, as there were many national agendas including Oil Drilling & Offshore Exploration that the government was “stern” in addressing properly which cost them in the 2012 General Elections. Now, the UDP is in office with a slim margin, and are facing controversies more than ever.

The Belizean public is very skeptical of how corruption is being handled today and it looks like, they want change. But should they return the People’s United Party to office in 2017? Or should the United Democratic Party reign in a third term in office?  Will the two party systems that have controlled Government even before Independence really work for the people? Will they enact new innovative policies and carry out development schemes that will benefit the BELIZEAN people? Will they put political agenda over the people’s wishes? Or should Belize move the proportional representation? There is a wide scare among people from the district areas. Belize needs a new revolution of leaders who works for BELIZE, and not for political will. The question is who will start this revolution?

Kenny Jacobs

Executive Director
Teens Belize Organization
P.O. Box 114
Big Falls, Toledo
Belize, Central America
+ 501 651 4733

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