Tuesday, May 21, 2024

PUP 7 wins San Pedro Municipal Elections


Gualberto’ Wally’ Nunez and his Councilor candidates under the People’s United Party (PUP) have maintained its San Pedro Town Council positions. They were re-elected under the campaign motto ‘Stay Pan Track,’ defeating the full slate of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Independent Mayoral candidate Emergency Medical Technician Abner Bacab.
On election day, political parties and candidates set up camps as early as 6AM. Polling stations across the country opened to electorates at 7AM. In the first hours of voting at Polling Station 37 (San Pedro High School, San Pedro Junior College, and the Roman Catholic Primary School), by 10AM 1,437 ballots were.
The voters’ groups were divided into 15 alphabetical categories (A, B, Ca, Ce-Cu, D-F, G, H-J, K-L, M, N-O, P-Q, R, S, T-U, V-Z). The election process went smoothly, as the San Pedro Police Formation and Returning Officer Gian Cho strictly maintained the 100-yard regulation. While the voter turnout seemed slow, the flow of electorates from the two major parties (PUP and UDP) and those supporting Mayoral candidate Bacab increased steadily. By 1PM, 2,524 of the eligible 8,704 electorates had cast their vote. The political camps continued moving their machinery across San Pedro Town, encouraging those who had yet to vote.
A slight surge in voter turnout was observed by 3PM as parties geared up for the final hours of the election. The San Pedro Sun spoke to representatives of all the parties, each sharing their optimism about the results of the polls. Wilfredo Alamilla Jr with the UDP said he was satisfied with the support they were receiving. However, he noted the slow turnout. “There is a large number of the electorate who are yet to come out and vote. I am feeling confident that those supporting our party will turn out to the polling station,” said Alamilla. He added that many registered electorates are not coming out to vote because they have lost hope in politics. They want a change, and with the new and young UDP team, he said the people of San Pedro could have expected such a change.
Nuñez, under the PUP, also noted the low turnout experienced earlier in the day, but he was more than confident that his supporters were showing up to vote. “In respect to the people coming to our booths, the feedback is very good, and we feel, and the projections look very good for us,” he said.

Manuel Heredia

PUP and UDP machinery members were out there assisting with their slates, including former Area Representative (San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker) Manuel Heredia Jr under the UDP. He commended voters for exercising their rights and thanked their supporters. Heredia said that San Pedranos are still looking for a better change and that the UDP can deliver new change. Meanwhile, the current Area Representative with the PUP, Honorable Andre Perez, was optimistic that the results of the elections at the end would benefit his party and Nuñez and his team would be re-elected.

Honorable Andre Perez

Independent Mayoral Candidate Bacab said he was busy assisting his supporters to the polls throughout the day. Bacab said his supporters know that he has been serving the island community for the past two decades. “I am very happy to see the feedback from everyone I have spoken to. I explained to them what my mission is, what I have done for San Pedro, and what more I can do,” said Bacab. “I have always been involved in tourism and community service, and giving back has always been part of me.” Bacab, who also runs an ambulance service business, said to have been very optimistic that most of the people he spoke to voted for him or were convinced to visit the polling areas to cast their votes.

Abner Bacab

At the close of the polls at 6PM, the number of ballots cast had increased to 5,418 or a 62.01% voter turnout. In the last minutes before the gates of the polling station closed, voters rushed to make it on time and vote to elect a new local government. With the assistance of the police, the gates of the polling areas were closed, and no other electorates were allowed in.
The electorates still inside the polling station continued casting their votes, with the process ending around 7PM. At closing, the ballot boxes from the polling area at the Roman Catholic Primary School were locked and escorted to the counting station at the San Pedro High School. During this process, the police ensured that no persons lingered around the high school gates.

The first results from the counting station indicated that the PUP was in the lead. As the results were announced each figure put the PUP ahead of the UDP and Independent Mayoral Candidate Bacab. The atmosphere became one of celebration with a crowd of PUP supporters. Near 11PM it was unofficially announced that the PUP had a significant lead in all the ballot boxes showing clear winnings for the Blue Party slate. Moments later, Alamilla Jr. and his team were observed shaking hands with the PUP team, and after reportedly conceding, they left without comments to the media. However, UDP slate members thanked their supporters through their social media platforms.

Returning Officer Cho

Returning Officer Cho announced the official results shortly after 1AM, declaring Nuñez and all his six Councilors under the PUP winners of the San Pedro 2024 Municipal Elections.
Mayor-Elect Nuñez thanked his supporters and said his administration’s good work will continue to benefit San Pedro residents. “We are here to work for the people,” he said. “We were confident of our victory, which means that we need to do more for the town, and we will continue working hard. The work will continue as of tomorrow.” Nuñez added that he offered the UDP slate and Bacab the opportunity to work with his team on projects that benefit the island community. He and his team will welcome any ideas from them to continue making San Pedro a safer and better place for all.
PUP Area Representative Perez said this was the expected result because Nuñez and his team have done so much for San Pedranos in their first three-year term. Perez said he will continue working along with Nuñez and his administration. He is also preparing for the General Elections in 2025 when he will defend his seat in central government.
After the official results were announced, the PUP celebrated with their supporters with a long victory parade through the streets of downtown San Pedro.

Results of the final tallies that each PUP candidate received:

Fifty-eight thousand three hundred ninety-nine votes were registered nationwide, or 57.71% of the 101,190 registered electorates nationwide. The PUP won eight of the town and city council municipal elections: San Pedro Town, Belize City, Belmopan City, Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda Town. The UDP secured the twin town municipality of San Ignacio/Santa Elena in the Cayo District with a Mayor and five Councillors. One Councillor Elect is from the PUP team.
As the dust settles from the Municipal Elections, Area Representatives of the 31 constituencies nationwide have started gearing up for General Elections in 2025. Currently, the PUP controls 26 cabinet seats, while the Opposition of the UDP holds five.
Congratulations to all winning parties and candidates of the 2024 Municipal Elections.

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