Who will it be, Wagner or Pollard ?
By: Omar Silva – Editor, National Perspective Belize
Belize City: Tuesday, 19th September 2023
The simmering controversy surrounding the endorsement of Belize City's next mayoral candidate within the People's United Party (P.U.P.) has ignited a fervent debate among the voting population. As the P.U.P. City Council Convention on November 5th draws near, demands for transparency and genuine democratic participation have reached a crescendo.
Speculation and rumours have swirled for days, suggesting that Mayor Bernard Wagner is poised to secure the P.U.P.'s blessing to run uncontested for a third term. The initial condition for his endorsement was to complete work disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but what's raising eyebrows is the perceived disregard for other mayoral candidates who submitted their applications.
Deputy Mayor Allan Pollard Jr., a mayoral hopeful himself, is at the forefront of this call for transparency. Pollard has emphasized the pivotal role of the convention as a cornerstone of democracy. He believes that the people should have a say in choosing their leader and called it the "healthy route" to selecting the most suitable candidate.
"If Wagner is endorsed," Pollard asserted, "the party must explain the rationale behind its decision." His plea for transparency underscores the need for clear justifications if the party opts not to consider other candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring. Pollard, who has previously faced party conventions, remains unwavering in his commitment to the democratic process and the people of Belize City.
The brewing controversy has galvanized staunch supporters of genuine democracy within the P.U.P.'s voting population. They argue passionately for a convention where voters can exercise their democratic rights freely, asserting that no political party should predetermine the electorate's choice. For them, the convention process represents an essential mechanism for gauging public sentiment and ensuring accountability.
With November 5th looming on the horizon, all eyes are fixed firmly on the P.U.P.'s leadership. The mounting pressure on the party to address these concerns and clarify its position on the mayoral endorsement has now reached a critical juncture. The outcome of this internal debate will undeniably leave an indelible mark on the party's image and significantly influence voter sentiments leading up to the next Municipal Election.
As Belizeans, we share a profound respect for the principles of democracy that underpin our nation. Our commitment to genuine representation, transparency, and accountability should extend to the very heart of our political parties. The calls for a transparent and inclusive P.U.P. City Council Convention are not merely the concerns of one faction but a collective plea for an electoral process that truly embodies the spirit of democracy.
The decision the P.U.P. makes in the coming days and weeks will resonate far beyond party lines. It will serve as a testament to our commitment to the principles that have guided Belize through its democratic journey. Whether Belize City embraces a transparent and inclusive mayoral selection process or not, the onus lies on the party to decide the path it wishes to tread.
In a nation where the voices of its people have always been its greatest strength, the coming weeks will bear witness to whether the P.U.P. chooses to uphold these principles or veer away from them. The echoes of democracy ring loudly, and the nation listens closely, awaiting a decision that could shape the destiny of Belize City and serve as a beacon of hope for a more inclusive political future.
With Bias towards none...the People are awake !