Friday, June 21, 2024

Mayor Wally Nuñez announces bid for Area Representative in Belize Rural South


San Pedro’s Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez has announced his intentions to participate in the next General Elections in 2025 and challenge current Area Representative, Honorable Andre Perez, for the Belize Rural South (BRS) seat. This constituency consists of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker. Nuñez confirmed his interest in the higher office via a post on his Facebook page on April 29th, stating that he would be sending his application to represent the BRS constituency.

Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez

Nuñez and his team were re-elected for a second term in the March 6th Municipal Elections. However, he has now shown interest in the office of Area Representative. In his Facebook post, he added that the people of San Pedro and Caye Caulker have been asking about his interest in representing them in the central government. Following this announcement, Nuñez has received a wave of support through his social media page. Many commended him for his work as Mayor and encouraged his intentions as area representative. Nuñez has acknowledged and thanked those who support him. In an interview, the Mayor said his decision to run for the BRS constituency is nothing personal against current Area Representative Perez. He explained that it is what the people are asking for. Thus, he is listening to them. Nuñez said voters want to continue supporting his party in BRS, but they want him to represent the constituency. He told The Sun that his political career started in 2012, and support has significantly grown in his favor over the years. When he became Mayor in 2021, Nuñez said the level of support just kept growing. “I get messages every day from our residents, from Caye Caulker, from all over Belize encouraging me to take the next step. So, that’s exactly what I am doing,” he said. Nuñez said his team has several big projects in the pipeline, at the planning stage, that will benefit all residents of San Pedro and Caye Caulker. “Representation at the Belize Rural South level will be a way to keep building on all the work we have done with the town council and bring more progress to our area,” Nuñez ended. He said that he will stand by his people. At the end of the day, the people will decide.
Area Representative Honourable Perez shared with The Sun that he was elected to serve the people of BRS and will seek re-election. “I’m here for the long haul and do the work of the people,” Perez stated. Perez said he has no issues with anyone wanting to challenge him and will never take it personally. The area representative continued by saying it is about the right thing for BRS and the country. Although Perez said he is ready to stand against anyone challenging him, the fact remains that Mayor Nuñez is running under the same party, the PUP. Perez said this move by Nuñez is not considered the right option as he was recently re-elected for a second term and should focus on his Mayoral duties instead. Perez said this situation does not faze him and that he feels confident in his supporters. He also noted that his relationship with Mayor Nuñez and the San Pedro Town Council will always be supportive and positive.

Honroable Andre Perez

But the question on the street is, “Does Mayor Nuñez stand a chance against Perez? Perez was recently welcomed back to Cabinet and assigned his Ministry of Blue Economy and Disaster Risk Management portfolio. In September 2023, he was removed from this ministry amid sexual misconduct allegations made by a female attorney. He refuted those allegations, and after months of investigation by the Attorney General’s office, Perez was returned to Cabinet as a minister. Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño stated that the investigation indicated that no laws were broken.
In looking at the record in their most recent elections, both municipal and general candidates showed robust machinery. According to Elections and Boundaries, in the 2020 General Elections, Perez obtained 4,336 or 62.96% of the votes against his primary opponent, Manuel Heredia Jr., under the United Democratic Party (UDP), who received 2,419 votes or 35.12%.
In the 2024 San Pedro Municipal Elections, Wally Nuñez received 3,651 votes over his UDP Mayoral opponent, Wilfredo Alamilla Jr., who received 1,319 votes. With 8,704 registered voters in this municipality, 5,397 or 62.01% voted. According to records, Nuñez’s re-election saw him increasing his margin of victory by 189 votes compared to the March municipal elections in 2021.

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