Last Thursday, the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce (ACCC) welcomed four PUP candidates who are running for the upcoming municipal elections, including Mr. Alberto Nuñez, who will be contesting the Mayoral seat in March 2006 against the incumbent Mayoress Elsa Paz.
The PUP Town Council candidates present at the Chamber meeting last week were Alex Nuñez, Javier Williams, and Andre Perez, who were accompanied by Eiden Salazar, Chairman of the PUP Executive-San Pedro, and Milo Paz, PUP Campaign Manager-San Pedro.
The meeting was an opportunity for the ACCC members to familiarize themselves with the PUP municipal agenda and at the same time, have an opportunity to ask the candidates pointed questions about their concerns for Ambergris Caye. Andre Perez spoke first and thanked the Chamber for letting the PUP candidates address the Chamber’s members and congratulated the Chamber as well for their outstanding community work.
PUP Chairman Eiden Salazar then stated that the PUP Party started working on their running slate since February 2005, and the present candidates were endorsed at their October 2005 Convention. “The PUP has been having meetings with each neighborhood throughout the town, basically introducing our slate of young, energetic candidates along with our seasoned veterans,” said Salazar. “There are over 4,100 voters in San Pedro.”
In 1997, Alberto Nunez and Eiden Salazar were in the opposition party and won 6 out of 7 seats for the Town Council elections along with four other PUP candidates. Salazar said he was proud to be a supporter of Alberto Nunez, as he is an experienced and tested veteran who went through 4 major storms as Mayor of San Pedro. Those storms were Hurricanes Mitch, Keith, Chantel, and Iris.
Milo Paz told the gathering that the PUP is using a new approach because 65% of island voters come from other districts in Belize and are not only from the Belize District. “Our PUP municipal candidates represent almost every district in Belize,” stated Milo Paz. This dynamic group has the essential and vital instruments necessary to improve the Town Council’s leadership and better manage the economics of the Town Council.” Paz also said that there are 4 main points of concern for the Town Council and those are the beaches, the playgrounds, the streets, and the garbage. “We have to realize that tourism is the most important factor for the future of San Pedro.”
Questions asked during the meeting by Chamber members included those referring to the new Statutory Instrument (SI) for traffic; the new Marina’s date of completion and how soon it would become operational; whether the PUP will enforce protection of marine areas; about San Pedro becoming the 7th District; and whether there would be transparency at the Town Council under a PUP administration.
Eiden Salazar ended the meeting for the PUP representatives by stating that on February 2, the PUP will be launching its new manifesto and will share it with the Chamber on that day, and that Election Day is March 1, 2006 and anyone who is capable of voting should definitely use their right to vote.
According to the ACCC, the UDP candidates have also been invited to speak to the Chamber members as well and that the ACCC is looking forward to hearing their views and manifesto. The meeting should take place within the next few weeks.